Skip to main content

Full text of "A doctor's experiences in three continents ..."

See other formats


l^>?''  '>y^-^'f 


Digitized  by  tine  Internet  Archive 

in  2010  with  funding  from 

Open  Knowledge  Commons  and  Harvard  Medical  School 

EDWARD      WARREN,     M.     D 




By  EDWARD  WARREN,  M.  D.,  C.  M,,  LL.  D. 


Formerly  Medical  Inspector  of  the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia;  more  recently  Sur- 

geon-in- Chief  of  the  War  Department  of  Egypt;  Prof essor  Emeritus  College 

of  Physicians  and  Surgeons  of  Baltimore,  Md.;  Clievalier 

of  tTie  Legion  of  Honor  of  France;  Commander 

of  the  Order  of  tlte  Osmanieh  of 

Turkey,  <&c.,  <&c.,  dc. 




CusHiNGS  &  Bailey,  Publishers. 


/.Tt.  Jd 

^6  7 

Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress  in  the  year  1885  by  John  Mokeis,  M.  D., 
in  the  office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress. 




My  father — His  services  in  the  Confederate  army — His  po- 
litical opinions — His  grief  over  the  supposed  death  of  a  son 
— The  wounding  of  his  son  at  Gettysburg — Meeting  of  two 
brothers — My  father's  character  and  characteristics — His 
death — Dreams — Spiritualism — Religion. 



8elf-made  men — Pride  of  blood  and  its  effect  upon  character — 
The  Innes  family — My  grandmother — Virginia  hospitality 
— A  temperance"^  hotel — My  mother — Her  character — My 
birthplace — Edenton. 



School — Death  of  my  dog  from  grief— The  treed  Pasha — Visit 
to  Washington  and  meeting  with  Mr.  Tyler — His  dispute 
with  the  Whig  party — Webster's  tidelity — The  Princeton — 
Bursting  of  her  great  gun — Mr.  Tyler's  luck — Miss  Gardner 
— First  night  atschool  and  the  fight  and  friendship  which 
grew  out  of  it — Dr.  George  A.  Otis — Fighting  as  a  peace 


EARLY  DAYS,  (Continued.) 

Fire-eaters  of  ante-heUum  times — Cowards — Dueling — A  church 
school  and  its  overdose  of  religion — The  morbid  but  credu- 
lous seminarian — A.  night  at  the  seminary — The  good  luck 
it  brought  me — Mistaken  vocations — The  great  (?)  professor 
— "S'anity — Ingratitude. 




The  Johnstone  family — -Mr.  James  C.  Johnstone — The  Rector 
— His  character  and  his  death — His  second  daughter,  Eliza- 
beth Cotton,  becomes  my  wife — We  visit  Virginia  and  New 
York — Mr.  Johnstone  presents  me  with  Albania  and  a 
number  of  negroes. 



Mr.  James  C.  Johnstone's  change  of  sentiments  toward  his 
family — His  insanity — His  unnatural  will — His  heirs  con- 
test— Memorable  trial — Adverse  verdict  and  ruin  of  the 
family — Old  Edenton  after  the  war — The  treason  of  the 
"  Colonel " — Incidents  of  his  life. 



Birth  of  a  daughter — The  John  Brown  raid — Command  a 
military  company — Mitchell,  the  bear  hunter — Visit  to  A'ir- 
ginia  Springs  and  meeting  with  Mr.  Johnstone — Joseph  M. 
Levy — Go  to  Baltimore  as  a  professor. 



Experiences  as  a  teacher — First  failure,  then  success — Profes- 
sional and  social  experiences — The  attack  of  19th  of  April 
— Death  of  Mr.  Davis — My  own  narrow  escape — Davis' 



Excitement  in  Baltimore — A  memorable  Sunday — ]Made  chief 
surgeon  of  the  municipal  forces — Sent  on  a  mission — Ben. 
Butler  at  the  Relay  House — Ashby — Charles  Winder — John 
W^inder — Prisoners  of  war — Richmond  and  its  state  of  excite- 
ment— Governor  Letcher — Governor  Ellis — Success  of  mis- 
sion— Communications  from  University  of  Maryland — Sur- 
geon-general of  North  Carolina  navy — Hatteras  and  its 




Eevisit  Richmond — Appointed  surgeon  in  Confederate  army 
— Ordered  to  the  hospital  at  the  University  of  Virginia — 
State  of  the  wounded — Condition  of  the  army — The  medical 
department — An  operation  at  the  hip-joint — Bravery  of 
the  w^ounded — Professor  Venable — Professor  Coleman — Dr. 
Lewis  Coleman — Dr.  Fairfax — Dr.  Moon — Mr.  Wirtenbaker 
—Dr.  John  Staige  Davis— Dr.  J.  L.  Cabell— Prof.  J.  B. 


WAR  EXPERIENCES,  (Continued.) 

Ordered  to  Richmond  and  placed  on  board  of  examination 
and  inspection — Pleasant  duties  and  agreeable  colleagues; — 
Society — Devotion  of  Southern  women — Ordered  to  North 
Carolina— Examination  of  surgeons — A  morbid  chairman 
— Battle  of  New  Berne — Flight  and  panic — Made  Medical 
Director  of  department  of  Cape  Fear — Visit  to  Richmond 
— Dr.  L.  Guild — Mechanicsville— General  Lee — Appointed 
Medical  Director,  but  decline — Made  Medical  Inspector — 
The  morning  after  the  fight — Malvern  Hill — Laurel  Grove 
and  its  associations — Return  to  North  Carolina — Write  a 
manual  of  military  surgery. 



Hon.  Z.  B.  Vance  elected  Governor  of  North  Carolina — Ap- 
pointed Surgeon-General  of  the  State — Dr.  T.  J.  Boykin — 
Work  done  for  the  soldiers — An  epidemic  of  small-pox 
stamped  out — Pleasant  relations  with  the  governor — His 
fine  character  and  loyal  conduct — His  visit  to  the  Army  of 
Northern  Virginia — North  Carolina's  contribution  to  the 
war — Fort  Fisher  and  its  fall. 



Narrow  escape  from  death  and  capture — Arrival  at  Golds- 
borough — Preparation  for  serious  work — General  G.  W. 
Smith  takes  command  and  appoints  me  Medical  Director — 
Retreat  of  Foster — Colonel  Moses  and  Governor  Vance's 
dispatch — Governor  Vance's  kindness  to  prisoners  of  war 
at  Salisbury — A  train  of  wounded  soldiers. 




Governor  Vance's  distress  at  Lee's  surrender — His  efforts  to 
preserve  Raleigh — His  commission  to  General  Sherman — 
Exciting  adventures — Return  to  Raleigh — The  dejDOt  in 
flames — Kilpatrick  baffled — His  life  attempted  by  maraud- 
ers— Their  fate. 



Kind  reception  by  Colonel  Baylor — Generals  Blair  and  Sco- 
field  as  Union  constructors — General  Sherman's  conserva- 
tism in  North  Carolina — He  keeps  faith  with  the  State  com- 
missioners— Embarrassed  by  Lincoln's  death  and  Johnson's 
accession — His  grand  review — Return  home — Contrabands 
— Edenton  after  the  war. 



Return  to  Baltimore — Changes — The  wolf  at  the  door — Four 
friends  come  to  the  rescue — The  Levy  will  case — A  favor- 
able verdict  and  a  reduced  legacy — Sunshine  again — New 
medical  schools,  and  a  bitter  controversy — A  memento  of 
the  war — Medico-legal  cases — The  friendless  Confederate 
— The  condemned  negress. 



The  AVharton  case — Interview  with  Mr.  Thomas — Argument 
submitted  to  him — Mr.  Steele — The  trial  at  Annapolis — 
Cross-questioned  by  Mr.  Syester — A  bombshell  in  com-t. 


THE  WHARTON  CASE,  (Continued.) 

A  battery  turned — A  witness  stumbles — Attacked  in  the  rear 
— Letters  from  Alfred  Swain  Taylor  and  Thomas  Stevenson 
supporting  ni}?^  position — Victorious  at  Annai^olis,  but  ruined 
in  Baltimore— The  potency  of  popular  prejudice — Sympathy 
of  the  American  Medical  Association — Fidelity — Grief  for 
my  boy. 




Seek  a  professorship  elsewhere — Letters  from  Doctors  Gross 
and  McGuff^' — Enter  the  service  of  the  Khedive — Given 
a  dinner  at  Barnum's — William  joins  me  at  Jersey  City — 
Some  account  of  William  Hughes,  my  faithful  servant — 
Hats  versus  tarbouches — Ophthalmia  and  flies — Acquisition 
of  foreign  languages — Fishing  for  a  compliment  and  catch- 
ing a  Tartar. 



Sail  from  New  York  in  the  Abyssinia — My  illness  and  Will- 
iam's adventure  at  Liverpool — Sir  James  Paget — Paris  in 
mourning — To  Brindisi  under  difficulties — Alexandria  and 
Gabara — Cairo  in  a  khampseen — Egypt — Its  religion  and 
customs — The  Copts — Achmet  Fahmy,  the  dragoman — His 
conversion — Loss  of  our  baby — Amoonah,  his  nurse — Her 
fidelity  and  devotion — An  attack  of  ophthalmia. 



Hareems — Mothers — Divorces — The  captain's  dilemma — Mus- 
tahalls  and  their  vocation — A  demonstrative  patient — The 
penalty  of  seeing  a  woman's  uncovered  face — A  bey's  in- 
trigue and  its  results — Domestic  life. 



Tewfick  Pasha,  the  present  Khedive — Ismail  Pasha,  the  late 
Khedive — His  services — His  return  necessary  and  inevitable 
— General  Loring's  hospitality — A  summer  at  Gabara — Gen- 
eral Sibley — Colonel  Jenifer— The  Reynolds,  father  and  son 
— Major  Campbell — A  pilfering  comrade — My  first  patient 
— My  successful  treatment  of  the  Minister  of  War — His 




An  insane  patient — Popular  ideas  respecting  lunatics  and 
idiots — Amein  Pasha  and  his  medical  bill — Promotion — 
Examining  recruits — Furloughed  soldiers  and  veterans — 
The  gratitude  of  the  latter — Attempts  at  bribery — The 
Prince's  perplexity — Forewarned  of  a  plot  for  my  destruc- 
tion— Narrow  escape — Dr.  Abbate-Bey — Dr.  J.  J.  Crane. 



A  six  months'  "leave" — A  rival  surgeon-general  and  his  vic- 
tims— The  snake  charmers — Start  for  Paris — English  gen- 
tlemen— General  Mott — Doctor  Landolt — Return  to  Eg\'pt 
prohibited — Made  a  Licentiate  of  the  University  of  France 
— Honorably  discharged  from  the  Eg^qDtian  army — A  bless- 
ing in  disguise — Eunuchs — ]My  first  patient  in  Paris — Made 
"  Knight  of  the  Order  of  Isabella  the  Catholic." 



The  evening  visitor — Nature's  nobleman — The  sympathetic 
friend — A  typhoid  case — The  daily  narcotic — The  startling 
discovery — Adroit  robbery — "Help  me,  Doctor" — A  dis- 
gusted banker — The  prompt  arrest — Mazas — Release  and 
restitution — An  amazed  convalescent. 


LIFE  IN  PARIS,  (Continued.) 

Distinguished  patients — Hon.  Thomas  A.  Hendricks — His 
a]Dpearance  and  character — General  Grant — Estimate  of  his 
character — His  devotion  to  his  friends — General  Torbert — : 
His  character  and  fate — Judge  Noah  Davis — Judge  John 
E.  Brady — Hon.  S.  Teakle  Wallis — Lady  "Anna  Gore-Lang- 
ton — Visit  to  London — English  mode  of  j)aying  medical 
bills — Dignity  of  French  physicians — Medical  fees — Injus- 
tice to  physicians — Advice  to  patients. 



LIFE  IN  PAEI8,  (Continued.) 

Professional  success — Calumnies — Libelous  newspaper  clip- 
pings— Defamation  in  France — Secret  denunciations,  &c. — 
Police  espionage — Scandal  agencies — Hotel  leeches — The 
Exposition  of  1878 — Great  sorrow — The  Cross  of  the  Legion 
of  Honor — Other  decorations — The  degree  of  LL.  D. — De- 
votion to  North  Carolina — Love  of  native  land — America 
as  contrasted  with  other  countries. 


Responding  to  the  persuasions  of  partial  friends 
and  loving  children,  I  have  written  a  history  of  my 
life,  and  now  present  it  to  the  world  in  the  form  of 
this  series  of  familiar  letters. 

I  have  been  prompted  to  the  venture  neither  by 
an  idle  vanity  nor  a  vaunting  egotism,  but  mainly 
by  the  conviction  that,  in  experiences  so  unique 
and  yet  so  diversified  as  mine  have  been,  there 
must  necessarily  be  embodied  much  that  is  calcu- 
lated to  impress,  interest  and  instruct  both  the 
medical  profession  and  the  general  public. 

At  the  same  time  a  sense  of  justice  to  myself  and 
to  others  constrains  the  confession,  that  a  desire  ta 
elaborate  and  perpetuate  the  record  of  my  strangely 
eventful  life  has  constituted  no  insignificant  factor 
in  the  motives  which  have  influenced  the  perform- 
ance of  this  task.  I  know  that  to  the  hypercritical 
this  will  seem  only  a  phase  of  the  selfish  considera- 
tions which  I  have  disclaimed  in  the  premises  ;  but, 
unmindful  of  their  censure,  I  shall  trust  to  the 
more  generous  to  interpret  it  properly — to  at- 
tribute it  to  the  suggestions  of  that  honest  pride 
and  honorable  ambition  which  the  peculiar  circum- 
stances of  the  case  have  served  to  develop  and  to 

The  title  selected  for  the  book  is  suggestive  alike 
of  its  character  and  its  scope,  since  it  recounts  the 
history  of  a  career  in  which  the  domination  of  a 
strange  but  imperious  destiny  has  manifested  itself 
in  the  transformation  of  a  country  doctor  into  a 


Professor,  a  Surgeon-General  and  a  Chevalier  of  the 
Legion  of  Honor,  and  the  transference  of  the  scene 
of  his  labors  from  the  swamps  of  Carolina  to  the 
shores  of  the  Chesapeake,  the  borders  of  the  Nile 
and  the  quartiers  of  the  Seine. 

I  have  selected  the  espistolary  method  of  com- 
munication with  my  readers,  because  it  is  that 
form  of  communication  with  which  I  am  most  fa- 
miliar, while  it  admits  of  a  freedom  of  style  and  a 
latitude  of  narration  which  seem  best  suited  to  an 

T  dedicate  this  work  to  my  honored  colleague. 
Doctor  John  Morris,  for  the  reason  that,  as  ray 
mind  reverts  to  the  scenes  of  the  past,  he  looms 
up  most  conspicuously  as  the  friend  of  their  shade 
and  their  sunshine,  and  it  is  to  him  that  my  heart 
instinctively  offers  the  amplest  tribute  of  its  love 
and  gratitude. 

Paris,  June  1,  1885. 






My  Dear  Doctor  : 

When  you  met  my  father  in  Baltimore  just  after 
the  war,  yon  saw  in  him  the  ruins  of  a  remarkable 
man.  He  was  then  only  sixty-five  years  of  age, 
and  up  to  the  beginning  of  the  conflict  he  had 
been  unusually  vigorous.  But  the  four  years  of 
exile  from  home,  of  anxiety  on  account  of  his 
sons — all  of  whom  were  in  the  Southern  army — 
and  of  unremitting  attention  to  the  sick  and 
wounded  under  his  charge,  together  with  the  total 
loss  of  his  property  and  the  utter  ruin  of  his  sec- 
tion, broke  him'  down  completely.  Although  an 
^'old-line  Whig,"  and  originally  opposed  to  se- 
cession, when  the  issue  was  definitely  made  between 
the  North  and  the  South,  and  the  sacred  soil  of 
Virginia — his  "  Mother  State  "  and  the  object  of 
his  supreme  devotion — was  actually  invaded,  he 
never  hesitated  a  moment  ;  but,  abandoning  his 
business,  his  property,  and  his  home,  he  joined  his 
fortunes  with  those  of  the  Confederacy,  and  ac- 
cepted a  surgeon's  commission  in  its  service.  He 
did  his  duty  faithfully,  but  he  came  out  of  the  con- 

16  A  doctor's  experiences 

flict  shattered  in  body,  prostrated  in  spirit,  and  in- 
capable of  any  serious  exertion. 

Nothing  contributed  more  to  this  result  than  the 
wounding  and  the  supposed  death  of  one  of  his  boys. 
Crittenden^  his  fourth  son,  who  was  at  that  time 
oiily  eighteen  years  of  age,  and  a  lieutenant  in  the 
^'  flag  company  "  of  the  Fifty-second  North  Caro- 
lina Regiment — a  position  to  which  he  had  been 
elevated  from  the  ranks  for  conspicuous  bravery — 
was  in  the  final  and  fatal  charge  at  Gettysburg. 

Two  days  after  that  fearful  battle  my  father  re- 
ceived a  letter  from  one  of  the  survivors  of  his 
son's  company  to  the  effect  that  he  saw  '^  Lieuten- 
ant Warren  killed,  with  the  colors  of  the  regiment 
in  his  hands,  within  a  few  yards  of  the  enemy's 
works  ;"  and  in  a  short  time  other  letters  arrived 
from  officers  of  the  regiment,  confirming  this  state- 
ment in  the  most  positive  manner.  As  he  was  a 
noble  boy,  this  intelligence  utterly  prostrated  his 
parents,  and  they  abandoned  themselves  to  grief. 
About  four  weeks  afterward  a  letter  arrived  by 
flag  of  truce  from  a  comrade,  saying  "Lieutenant 
Warren  was  not  killed  outright,  but  was  mortally 
wounded,  and  is  now  dying  in  one  of  the  Federal 
hospitals  at  Gettysburg."  This  communication 
brought  no  consolation  with  it,  although  it  did  in- 
spire some  faint  hope — just  enough  to  torture  the 
aching  hearts  of  those  who  loved  him.  Then  came 
an  additional  source  of  anxiety.     Another  son  was 


Dr.  Llewellyn  P.  Warren,  senior  surgeon  of  Pet- 
tigrew's  Brigade,  had  been  left  with  the  wounded 
of  his  command,  and  nothing  had  since  been  heard 
of  him.  In  vain  did  we  try  by  all  possible  means 
to  obtain  some  information  respecting  the  fate  of 
our  loved  ones  ;  and  you  can  well  understand  how 
dreadful  was  this  state  of  suspense  and  anxiety  to 


US  all,  but  especially  to  our  father  and  mother. 
Days  which  seemed  like  3^ears,  weeks  that  appeared 
to  have  no  ending,  passed  away,  and  when  hope 
had  died,  and  despair  had  set  its  seal  upon  the 
hearts  of  the  weary  watchers,  like  light  from 
heaven,  a  letter  came  from  one  of  Baltimore's  fair- 
•est  daughters — sent  surreptitiously  through  the 
lines — conveying  the  joyful  intelligence  that  Llew. 
had  accidentally  discovered  his  wounded  brother, 
-and  with  loving  care  had  snatched  him  from  the 
jaws  of  death  ;  that  Crittenden  was  slowlj^  but 
surely  recovering  ;  and  that  both  had  been  trans- 
ferred to  Fort  McHenry,  where  friends  were  min- 
istering to  their  comfort  in  every  way  that  sym- 
pathy could  suggest.  1  need  scarcely  tell  you  of 
the  prayers  of  gratitude  which  were  offered  up, 
and  of  the  joy  which  reigned  in  my  father's  heart 
•and  house  on  that  occasion  ;  for  it  was  as  if  the 
very  portals  of  the  grave  had  been  opened,  and 
the  dead  had  arisen  and  come  forth  "to  walk 
with  living  men  again."  My  brothers  were  ex- 
changed after  many  months  of  captivity,  and 
:an  examination  of  Crittenden's  wounds  revealed 
the  fact  that  five  conical  balls  had  entered  his 
body,  one  of  which  had  passed  entirely  through 
the  upper  lobe  of  the  right  lung.  According 
to  his  account,  when  within  a  short  distance  of 
the  enemy's  line,  he  seized  the  colors  from  the 
hands  of  a  dying  sergeant,  and  with  his  first 
step  forward  received  what  seemed  to  him  a  fear- 
ful blow  in  the  breast,  and  he  fell  senseless  to 
the  ground.  He  knew  nothing  more  until  he 
was  aroused  by  the  rough  shake  of  a  Federal 
soldier,  who,  seeing  that  life  was  not  extinct,  gave 
him  a  drink  of  water,  placed  his  cap  under  his 
head  as  a  pillow,  and  muttering,  "  Poor  boy,  this 
is  the  last  of  you,"  went  forward  to  his  duty.     He 

18  A  doctor's  experiences 

then  lapsed  into  a  state  of  unconsciousness,  which 
finally  passed  into  a  dream  of -the  charge  so  vivid 
and  real  that  it  seemed  that  he  was  for  hour^ 
storming  the  enemy's  line  with  balls  whistling 
and  shells  bursting  and  comrades  falling  around 
him,  while  his  chest  felt  as  if  it  were  encircled  with 
an  iron  band  which  interfered  with  respiration  and 
almost  deprived  him  of  the  power  of  speech. 
When  he  came  to  himself  again  it  was  in  the 
early  morning,  and  a  group  of  surgeons  were 
standing  about  him  while  one  was  examining  his 
wounds,  who,  seeing  that  he  had  regained  con- 
sciousness, asked  his  name,  told  him  to  prepare  for 
death  as  his  wounds  were  mortal,  and  said  to  him  : 
"'I  know  your  brother  by  reputation,  and  if  you 
have  any  last  message  to  send  to  your  family  tell 
it  to  me,  and  I  will  have  it  delivered  in  time.  My 
heart  bleeds  for  you  and  yours,  my  poor  boy. "  ' '  Say 
to  them  at  home,"  gasped  the  dear  fellow,  "that 
I  tried  to  do  my  duty,  and  tell  my  mother  " — here 
he  lost  consciousness  again,  and  was  unable  to 
complete  the  sentence.  Although  the  surgeons  re- 
garded the  case  as  desperate,  they  did  not  leave 
him  to  die  alone  in  the  grass  where  he  had  fallen,  but 
they  had  him  carefully  lifted  into  an  ambulance  and 
transported  to  the  nearest  field-hospital,  where  he 
was  placed  under  a  shelter  hastily  improvised  of 
fence-rails,  and  given  food,  stimulants,  and  an 
opiate — the  jolting  of  the  vehicle  over  the  newly- 
ploughed  field  having  restored  him  to  conscious- 
ness, and  caused  him  the  most  intense  suffering. 
During  the  night  a  new  j^eril  presented  itself:  the 
stream  which  ran  through  the  hospital  suddenly 
swelled  beyond  its  borders,  and  with  resistless 
impetus  swept  a  large  number  of  the  wounded  to 
destruction.  He,  fortunately,  was  just  beyond  the 
invaded  area  and  was  saved,  while  one  of  his  own 


men — a  poor  lad  reared  near  my  plantation  in 
North  Carolina — who  lay  wounded  and  helpless  by 
his  side,  was  swept  away  by  the  flood.  As  he  did 
not  die,  he  was  removed  after  a  few  days  to  a  divi- 
sion hospital,  which  was  well  constructed  and 
abundantly  supplied.  Here  he  was  allowed  two 
slightly  wounded  men  from  his  own  company  as 
nurses,  supplied  liberally  with  nutritious  soup  and 
good  bread,  and  given  a  dose  of  morphia  every 
night  at  bed  time  ;  but  his  \vounds  were  not  dressed, 
and  his  bloody  and  matted  clothing  was  never 
changed  until  he  was  discovered  and  taken  charge 
of  by  my  brother,  Dr.  L.  P.  Warren,  more  than  two 
weeks  after  the  battle.  There  was  no  intentional 
inhumanity  in  this,  for  in  every  other  respect  he 
was  kindly  treated,  but  it  resulted  simply  from  the 
fact,  that  when  brought  from  the  field  he  was 
placed  on  the  list  of  the  ''mortally  wounded,"  and 
as  surgeons  were  scarce  and  wounded  men  abund- 
ant, he  was  left  to  die  in  peace  without  the  addi- 
tional pang  of  a  surgical  dressing.  This  view 
of  the  case  proved  ''a  blessing  in  disguise" — was 
a  circumstance  so  fortunate  in  itself  and  in  its 
consequences  as  to  bear  the  aspect  of  a  special  dis- 
pensation— for  the  lung  wound,  consequently, 
sealed  itself  hermetically,  while  the  non-interven- 
tion of  the  doctors  perpetuated  that  condition  of 
quiescence  which  was  most  favorable  to  its  cicatriza- 

My  brother,  Dr.  L.  P.  Warren,  tells  me,  that 
after  he  had  given  his  services  to  all  of  the  wounded 
who  had  been  left  in  his  charge,  he  obtained  per- 
mission to  visit  the  Federal  hospitals,  hoping  to 
find  something  to  do  in  the  way  of  rendering  as- 
sistance to  such  of  the  Southern  wounded  as  might, 
perchance,  have  been  received  in  them.  He  had 
heard,  too,  of  the  death  of  his  brother,  but  there 

20  A  doctor's  experiences 

still  lingered  in  his  bosom  a  hope  of  finding  him 
alive,  and  of  being  the  instrument  of  his  rescue  and 

He  was  making  his  final  visit,  and  had  passed 
the  last  ward,  when  he  suddenly  heard  his  name 
called  and  saw,  running  toward  him,  two  soldiers 
whom  he  recognized  as  having  belonged  to  the  52d 
North  Carolina  Regiment.  In  a  moment  they  had 
embraced  him,  and  were  dragging  him  toward  a 
little  hut  near  by,  crying  out  :  "The  Lieutenant 
is  not  quite  dead.  Come,  for  God's  sake,  and  save 
him."  Upon  entering  the  pavilion  he  saw  u])on 
a  rude  couch  the  form  of  fi  human  being,  attenu- 
ated, wan,  with  sunken  cheeks  and  lusterless  eyes, 
apparently  in  the  throes  of  death,  which  he  recog- 
nized to  be  that  of  his  brother,  so  long  lost  and  so 
deeply  mourned — the  dear  boy  over  whom  a  stricken 
household  far  away  in  the  South  was  shedding  its 
bitterest  tears,  and,  like  Rachel  of  old,  refusing  to 
be  comforted. 

Imagine,  my  dear  Doctor,  if  you  can,  what  were 
the  feelings  of  these  two  brothers  when  they  thus 
met  in  that  distant  land,  remote  from  friends  and 
kindred,  the  one  supposing  that  the  clods  already 
covered  the  remains  of  him  he  loved  so  well,  and 
the  other  believing  that  he  would  never  behold  the 
face  or  hear  the  voice  of  any  one  from  home  again. 
Surely  a  scene  more  touching  than  this  was  never 
witnessed  by  mortal  man,  and  the  rough  soldiers 
around  them  bowed  their  heads  in  silent  awe,  and 
wept  like  children. 

After  many  weary  days  of  anxiety  and  watching, 
Llewellyn  had  the  gratification  of  seeing  the 
wounds  heal  kindly,  the  wasted  frame  grow  com-, 
paratively  strong,  and  the  blanched  cheek  lose  its 
pallor  and  glow  with  the  hues  of  health  again.  In  a 
word,  the  boy's  life   was  saved  ;    and  though  for 


years  be  felt  the  effects  of  his  wounds,  he  is  now  a 
healthy  and  vigorous  man — as  splendid  a  specimen 
of  physical  development  as  can  be  found  in  the 
South . 

This  incident  with  its  alternations  of  despair  and 
hope,  its  vicissitudes  of  sorrow  and  satisfaction , 
though  crowned  in  the  end  with  all  that  could  be 
conceived  of  happiness,  proved  too  great  a  strain 
upon  my  father's  nerves,  and  initiated  the  under- 
mining of  his  once  vigorous  system.  It  was  not 
long  afterward  that  I  noticed  an  occasional  inter- 
mittencein  his  pulse,  and  a  pronounced  development 
of  the  arcus  senilis,  while  a  condition  of  despond- 
ency became  the  fixed  habit  of  his  mind,  and  several 
severe  attacks  of  malarial  fever  ensued,  which  still 
further  exhausted  his  vitality. 

I  wish  you  could  have  seen  him  in  his  prime — 
in  the  full  swing  of  his  powers,  and  the  flood  tide 
of  his  success.  As  you  did  not  have  that  pleasure^ 
and  as  the  contemplation  of  his  gifts  and  virtues  is 
always  a  source  of  satisfaction  to  me,  you  w^ll 
pardon,  1  feel  assured,  a  brief  sketch  of  him  here — 
you  will  permit  me  to  reproduce  upon  these  pages 
the  outlines,  at  least,  of  the  picture  which  an  ardent 
love,  conjoined  with  the  most  profound  respect, 
has  painted  upon  the  tablets  of  my  memory. 

His  father,  Edward  Warren,  for  whom  I  was 
named,  was  a  lawyer  of  distinction  and  a  gentle- 
man of  the  highest  standing.  He  was  regarded, 
in  fact,  as  the  leader  of  the  bar  in  his  section  of 
Virginia,  and  he  several  times  represented  Charles 
City  County  in  the  Legislature  of  Virginia,  having 
been  elected  by  the  unanimous  vote  of  his  constitu- 
ency— which,  in  that  land  of  politics  and  partisans, 
was  a  very  high  compliment.  He  unfortunately 
died  young,  leaving  to  his  wife  the  task  of  rearing 
and   educating    his    four    children,    the    eldest  of 

22  A  doctor's  experiences 

whom  was  William  Christian,  the  subject  of  this 

His  mother  belonged  to  the  Christian  family  of 
Viro^inia,  and  she  well  illustrated  the  sterlinsr  vir- 
tues  and  decided  opinions  for  which  it  has  long 
been  distinguished .  How  faithfully  she  discharged 
this  duty  is  established  alike  by  the  sentiment  of 
love  and  i-everence  with  which  she  inspired  her 
children,  and  by  the  reputation  which  each  one  of 
them  established  in  after  life  for  honor  and  probity 
in  all  relations.  I  well  remember  my  visits  to 
Greenway — the  seat  of  the  family — when  a  child, 
and  of  the  awe  and  love  with  which  I  regarded  her. 
Scrupulously  neat  in  dress  ;  tall  and  stately  in  per- 
son ;  observing  the  strictest  decorum  and  etiquette 
herself,  and  exacting  the  same  from  others  ;  grave 
and  reserved  to  the  last  degree,  but  never  morose 
or  fault-finding  ;  with  a  countenance  upon  which 
neither  a  smile  nor  a  tear  ever  lingered  ;  and  the 
embodiment  alike  of  superlative  dignit}^  of  char- 
acter and  of  extreme  kindness  of  heart,  her  pres- 
ence and  her  manner  frightened  me  nearly  out  of 
my  wits,  while  her  tenderness  and  consideration 
called  out  my  warmest  affection. 

My  father  being  her  eldest  child,  she  looked  upon 
him  as  the  future  prop  of  the  house,  and  she  took 
especial  pains  to  indoctrinate  him  with  her  own 
high  principles,  and  to  give  him  a  thorough  educa- 
tion. So  great  was  his  respect  for  her  that  he  ac- 
cepted her  teachings  without  questioning,  while 
the  desire  to  please  her  became  and  continued  the 
ruling  principle  of  his  life. 

It  is  not  surprising  that,  with  such  a  mother,  his 
bosom  should  have  become  the  nurser}'  of  all  that 
gives  dignity  to  human  nature,  and  that  he  should 
have  developed  into  the  splendid  gentleman  he  was, 
and  which  all  who  knew  him  recognized  him  to  be. 


He  stood  about  six  feet  in  his  shoes,  and,  though 
eot  stout,  was  well  proportioned  and  very  graceful ; 
he  was  as  erect  as  a  Lombardy  poplar,  and  his  car- 
riage was  that  of  a  trained  soldier  ;  he  always  ap- 
peared neat  and  well  clad,  displaying,  in  fact,  great 
taste  in  the  matter  of  dress  and  personal  adorn- 
ment ;  he  was  especially  fond  of  dogs  and  horses — 
as  all  Virginians  are — and  he  prized  only  those  of 
the  best  blood  and  the  finest  appearance  ;  he  was 
brave  to  a  fault,  and  as  chivalrous  as  any  knight  of 
the  olden  time  ;  he  was  the  soul  of  generosity,  and 
the  latch-string  was  always  on  the  outside  of  his 
hospitable  door  ;  he  loved  his  family  to  idolatry 
and  was  the  mostfaithful  and  loyal  of  friends ;  he  was 
a  diligent  student,  keeping  himself  always  au  cour- 
mit  with  the  progress  of  his  profession,  and  his 
fondness  for  general  literature  was  extraordinary 
for  one  so  occupied  with  business  ;  he  was  a  man 
of  strong  feelings,  and  in  his  early  years  he  could 
not  bring  himself  to  bear  the  semblance  of  an  af- 
front, but  later  on,  when  his  heart  had  been  wrung 
by  affliction,  a  great  change  occurred  in  this  re- 
gard, and  he  became  a  devout  and  consistent  Chris- 
tian ;  and  he  was  truly  a  great  physician — per- 
fectly posted,  a  keen  observer,  remembering  every- 
thing he  had  seen  and  read,  with  a  cool  head  and 
a  warm  heart,  wedded  to  no  dogma,  absorbed  in  his 
mission,  indifferent  to  praise  or  censure,  and  abso- 
lutely self-reliant ;  he  entered  the  chamber  of  sick- 
ness with  the  manner  of  a  master,  the  mien  of  a 
friend,  and  the  bearing  of  a  gentleman,  inspiring 
his  patient  at  once  with  faith  and  hope,  and  show- 
ing in  the  treatment  of  the  case  a  capacity  for 
analysis,  a  genius  in  diagnosis,  and  a  fecundity  of 
resource,  which  have  rarely  had  their  equal  in  the 

Alike  in  Tyrrell,  where  he  commenced  his  career, 

24:  ~  A   doctor's   EXPERIENCES 

in  Eden  ton,  where  for  so  many  years  he  devoted 
himself  to  his  calling,  and  in  Lynchburg,  where 
his  latter  days  were  spent,  his  character  as  a  man 
and  his  qualifications  as  a  physician  were  appreci- 
ated in  the  manner  and  to  the  extent  that  I  have 
indicated.  No  man,  in  fact,  was  ever  brought  into 
intimate  relations  with  my  father  without  realizing 
that  his  ideas  of  human  excellence  had  been  given 
a  broader  range  and  a  higher  development. 

On  the  occasion  of  his  death,  which  occurred  at 
Lynchburg,  Virginia,  in  December,  1871,  business 
was  universally  suspended,  and  the  people  of  the 
place,  without  distinction  of  race  or  color,  followed 
his  remains  to  their  final  resting  place  ;  while,  in 
the  language  of  a  contemporary  journal,  "every 
tongue  proclaimed  :  Well  done  thou  good  and 
faithful  servant!  And  all  realized  that  there  was 
buried  that  day  a  noble  specimen  of  the  old  Vir- 
ginia gentleman."     . 

To  the  children  of  such  a  man  bis  memory  must 
remain  fresh  and  o;reen  forever,  must  prove  a  leg- 
acy more  precious  far  than  "  titles  or  estates,"  and 
an  inspiration  to  high  thoughts  and  honorable 
lives,  to  which  their  hearts  can  but  respond  in  the 
fullest  measure  to  their  last  pulsations. 

You  know  that  I  am  no  believer  in  the  super- 
natural, and  yet  I  must  confess  that  tivice  in  my 
life  I  have  permitted  myself  to  be  influenced  by 
dreams  in  deciding  questions  of  importance.  To 
one  of  these  instances  I  will  refer  in  this  connection, 
and  will  reserve  the  other  for  a  different  place  in 
these  memoirs. 

In  January,  1873^  I  received,  through  General 
Sherman,  the  offer  of  a  position  in  the  Egyptian 
army.  Although  I  had  sought  this  position,  yet^ 
when  the  offer  really  came,  I  was  greatly  per- 
plexed as  to  whether  or  not  to  accept  it.     After 


debating  the  question  with  myself  throughout  the 
day,  I  retired  to  rest  in  a  very  excited  and  uncer- 
tain state  of  mind.  For  a  long  time  sleep  was  an 
impossibility,  but  finally,  as  day  dawned  I  lost 
consciousness  for  a  brief  period  and  sank  into  an 
uneasy  slumber,  from  which  I  awakened  suddenly, 
greatly  impressed  by  a  very  vivid  and  protracted 

It  seemed  that  I  was  in  the  old  mansion  at  Eden- 
ton  when  my  father — who  had  then  been  dead  for 
more  than  two  years — came  into  my  room  and  asked 
me  to  walk  with  him,  as  he  wished  "to  discuss  the 
Egyptian  question."  Apparently,  we  walked  and 
talked  for  several  hours,  and  then  returned  to  the 
house  with  the  matter  still  undecided.  He  urged 
me  to  accept  the  ofier,  and  used  every  possible  ar- 
gument to  convince  me  of  the  wisdom  of  the  change, 
and  finally  he  said,  in  decided  and  solemn  tones: 
"My  son,  I  command  you  to  go."  These  words 
settled  the  matter,  and  I  completed  my  arrange- 
ments and  took  my  departure,  possessed  by  the 
idea  that  in  some  way  I  was  gratifying  my  father. 
At  any  rate  it  turned  out  "for  the  best ;"  it  proved 
a  new  departure  in  the  direction  of  prosperity  and 
success,  and  but  for  the  profound  impression  pro- 
duced by  this  dream,  or  coincidence,  or  whatever  it 
may  be  called,  I  should  have  remained  in  Balti- 
more, enjoying  the  pleasure  of  your  society,  it  is 
true,  but  wasting  my  life  in  college  broils  and  pro- 
fessional rivalries. 

Of  course,  believers  in  spiritualism  would  find 
an  immediate  explanation  of  this  incident,  but  hav- 
ing no  faith  in  their  creed,  it  is  impossible  for  me 
to  acqept  their  conclusions.  What  do  you  think 
about  it? 

My  skepticism  in  this  connection  will  not  sur- 
prise you  after  I  have  related  my  subsequent  ex- 

.26  A  doctor's  experiences 

periences  with  spiritualism,  or  rather,  after  I  have 
recalled  to  your  mind  certain  incidents  about  which 
I  have  talked  to  you  by  the  hour  in  other  days. 

Some  years  since  I  went  to  the  house  of  a  gen- 
tleman of  prominence  in  Baltimore — who  was  then 
completely  carried  away  with  this  '^new  revela- 
tion"— to  witness  certain  "manifestations,"  which 
he  assured  me  would  be  patent  and  conclusive. 
The  company  consisted  of  about  a  dozen  persons, 
and  we  were  invited  into  a  darkened  room,  given 
seats  around  a  circular  table,  and  asked  to  clasp 
hands  so  as  to  ''complete  the  circuit,"  and  to  re- 
main perfectly  silent.  After  a  short  delay  our  old 
friend  Weaver,  the  undertaker,  who,  it  seems,  af- 
fected great  faith  in  spiritualism  and  frequented  all 
of  its  circles,  suddenly  arose  from  his  seat,  gesticu- 
lating wildly  and  uttering  a  strange  shriek,  which 
we  were  told  was  a  "war-whoop,"  and  indicated 
that  he  was  possessed  by  the  "spirit  of  an  Indian. ' " 
The  lights  were  turned  on,  and  an  effort  was  made 
to  ascertain  the  name  of  the  particular  savage  who 
was  thus  exciting  to  frenzy  the  burly  body  of  the 
coffin-maker.  One  suggested  Powhatan,  another 
Billy  Bowlegs,  another  Tecumseh,  and  so  on  until 
the  entire  roll  of  notorious  Indians  was  called  over ; 
but  there  was  a  negative  shake  of  the  head  at  each 
name  suggested,  while  the  gesticulations  became 
more  frantic  and  the  so-called  "war-whoop"  grew 
longer  and  louder.  Finally  an  idea  struck  me,  for 
I  had  become  greatly  exercised  in  regard  to  the 
identity  of  the  unfortunate  redskin  who  was  trying 
to  give  expression  to  his  sentiments  in  the  gyra- 
tions and  yells  of  the  medium,  and  I  boldly  asked, 
"Is  it  the  great  Blennerhasset^  "  A  smile  of  sat- 
isfaction illuminated  the  countenance  of  the  de- 
lighted Weaver;  a  wild  "Yah!  Yah!  Yah!"  of 
assent  substituted  itself  for  the  angry  and  defiant 


^^ war-whoop,"  and  the  secret  was  disclosed — the 
^'  great  unknown  "  stood  revealed.  The  genial  and 
gentle  Blennerhasset — he  ''whose  shrubbery  a 
8henstone  might  have  envied,"  and  over  whose 
misfortunes  so  many  tears  have  been  shed — was 
the  '' untamed"  Indian  whose  spirit  had  mani- 
fested itself  in  the  flesh  of  the  undertaker.  The 
host  and  his  «;uests,  all  true  believers,  never  "saw 
the  point"  or  had  the  slightest  suspicion  of  its  ex- 
istence ;  and  while  the}^  were  devoting  themselves  to 
reciprocal  congratulations  over  the  facts  of  spirit- 
ualism as  thus  revealed  and  were  questioning  the 
savage,  through  his  chosen  medium,  concerning 
tomahawks,  scalping-knives,  and  war-dances,  I 
slipped  away,  anything  but  a  converted  man. 

You  remember  our  friend,  William  H.  Owens, 
who  frequently  represented  his  ward  in  the  city 
council,  and  whose  untimely  death  by  apoplexy  we 
both  deplored.  Well,  the  poor  fellow  had  the  mis- 
ibrtune  to  lose  his  only  son — a  beautiful  boy  about 
ten  years  of  age — shortly  after  the  war,  and  at  first 
it  nearly  broke  his  heart.  He  sought  consolation, 
however,  in  spiritualism,  and  he  found  it,  for  he 
became  convinced  that  the  spirit  of  his  son  was  in 
€onstant  communication  with  him.  He  assured  me 
that  he  could  realize  his  presence,  and  hear  his 
voice  as  plainly  as  he  had  ever  done  in  life.  He, 
consequent!}^,  became  perfectly  tranquil  and  re- 
signed, because,  as  he  said  to  me  :  ''  the  fate  of  the 
dear  little  fellow  is  settled.  He  can  never  suffer 
pain  or  sickness  again,  and  he  tells  me  that  he  is 
perfectly  happy."    • 

Hi  all  other  respects  he  seemed  entirely  rational , 
while  this  delusion  was  to  him  an  absolute  reality. 
Some  years  afterward,  as  you  well  know,  I  suf- 
fered a  similar  calamity,  and  was  in  utter  des]iair. 
Owens  immediately  came  to  my  house,  and  insisted 

28  A  doctor's  experiences 

that  I  should  rejoice  rather  than  weep^  assuring  me 
that  he  had  positive  information  from  his  son  that 
my  dear  boy  was  happy,  and  spent  his  time  at  my 
side,  telling  me  "  not  to  cry  for  him,"  but  that  I 
could  not  hear  his  voice  because  I  did  not  believe 
in  spiritual  manifestations.  God  alone  will  ever 
know  how  my  heart  leaped  at  these  words.  '^  Be- 
lieve," said  I ;  "if  you  will  only  give  me  the  slight- 
est proof  upon  which  I  can  hang  a  belief — let  me 
hear  a  single  word  from  my  son — I  shall  worship 
you  to  the  end  of  my  days." 

"I  don't  want  that,  but  I  would  like  to  help 
you,"  he  answered,  very  quietly;  "and  I  give 
you  my  word  that  you  shall  have  a  communica- 
tion from  him  which  will  convince  you  of  the 
truth  of  what  I  have  told  you.  Only  wait  for 
two  weeks,  and  I  will  take  you  to  a  person  who 
will  be  the  medium  of  this  conversation." 

I  was  amazed,  bewildered  crazed,  by  these  words, 
coming  as  they  did  from  a  man  whom  I  knew  to  be 
honest,  and  to  believe  what  he  said  ;  and  I  waited  for 
his  coming  with  feelings  such  as  those  which  the  apos- 
tles must  have  experienced  when  they  watchedfor  the 
resurrection  of  their  Lord.  Finally  he  came,  and 
took  me  to  a  house  in  Courtland  street,  near  Pleas- 
ant, where  we  were  ushered  into  a  darkened  room, 
and  I  was  presented  to  a  female  reclining  upon  a  sofa, 
apparently  just  issuing  from  a  fit  of  catalepsy,  or 
hysteria,  or  something  else. 

"This  lady,"  said  my  friend,  "is  a  reliable 
medium."  She  has  just  arrived  in  Baltimore,  and 
I  have  purposely  avoided  telling  her  your  history, 
but  you  can  place  implicit  faith  in  anything  that 
she  may  say  to  you.  He  then  withdrew,  and  left 
us  alone,  she  apparently  oblivious  to  what  was  going 
on  around  her,  and  /  in  a  state  of  excitement 
bordering  on  insanity. 


After  a  delay  of  some  moments  she  seemed  to  re- 
cover consciousness,  and  to  become  aware  of  my 
presence,  when,  in  response  to  her  stare  of  suprise 
and  inquiry,  I  said  to  her:  "  Madam,  I  am  not  an 
idle  intruder,  but  an  anxious  inquirer  ;  I  wish  to 
communicate  with  the  spirit  of  one  most  dearly 
loved.     Can  you  aid  me  in  doing  so  ?" 

She  rolled  up  her  eyes  until  their  whites  alone 
were  visible,  swayed  her  body  to  and  fro,  and  an- 
swered, "Yes,  I  can  help  you,  for  the  spirit  of  the 
^loved  one'  wishes  earnestly  to  speak  to  you." 

"  What  message  have  you  for  me?  Tell  me  at 
once,  I  entreat  you,"  said  I,  hardly  able  to  con- 
l^ain  myself. 

"Your  sainted  mother  bids  me  to  say  to  you," 
she  began. 

"My  mother^  madam!"  I  exclaimed,  "She  is 
alive  and  well." 

"Ah!  excuse  my  inattention,  "Your  sainted 
father  requests  me,"  she  resumed. 

^'  M.y  father,  madam!"  I  cried  out,  "he  is  in 
perfect  health — and  the  truth  is,  you  are  either  an 
utter  fraud  or  you  are  hopelessly  drunk,"  and  I 
precipitately  left  the  room,  cursing  the  fatuity 
which  had  induced  me  to  ignore  the  suggestions 
of  common  sense,  and  to  place  myself  in  a  position 
thus  to  have  the  most  sacred  sentiments  of  my 
heart  trampled  upon  and  mocked  at  by  a  lunatic 
upon  the  one  side  and  an  impostor  on  the  other. 

I  did  not  stop  in  my  hurried  flight  to  explain 
matters  to  poor  Owens,  who  waited  below  to  receive 
my  thanks  and  to  hear  my  confession  of  faith  ;  and, 
when  I  next  heard  of  him,  he  had  fallen  in  a  fit  of 
apoplexy,  and  had  died  without  a  struggle.  It  is  evi- 
dent that,  in  this  regard,  he  was  insane — that  he 
was  a  thorough-paced  maniac  on  the  subject  of 

30  A  doctor's  experiexces 

I  said  in  the  premises  that  I  was  a  skey)tic  in  this 
regard,  and  I  am  sure  you  will  agree  with  me  that, 
after  such  experiences  as  these — the  one  essentially 
ridiculous,  and  the  other  so  inexpressibly  painful — 
I  have  good  grounds  for  my  want  of  faith  in  this 

My  youngest  daughter,  to  whom  I  have  just  read 
these  pages,  says  that  the  good  Lord  sent  the 
dream  and  put  my  father  into  it  in  order  to  guide 
me  into  the  right  path  in  regard  to  the  Egyptian 
proposition,  and  that  the  spirits  had  nothing  to  do 
with  the  matter.  In  a  word,  her  idea — expressed 
in  more  technical  language — is  that  it  was  a  Provi- 
dential interposition,  and  not  a  spiritualistic  mani- 
festation, which  may  be  the  true  explanation,  for 
what  we  know  to  the  contrary.  At  any  rate,  it  is  a 
sagacious  discrimination  upon  the  part  of  a  little 
girl — the  child  that  you  so  skillfully  brought  into 
the  world  some  twelve  years  since — and  it  shows 
as  well  that  the  seeds  of  faith  and  trust,  which  her 
mother  sought  to  plant  in  her  youthful  heart,  were 
not  wasted  and  are  germinating  there.  God  grant 
that  their  roots  may  grow  stronger  and  sink  deeper 
continually,  and  that  no  adverse  storm  may  ever 
disturb  their  firm  hold  upon  her  gentle  nature. 

I  have  traveled  far  and  seen  much,  and  suf- 
fered greatly,  but  the  longer  I  live  and  the  more 
comprehensive  my  experience  becomes  the  greater 
is  my  faith  in  religion,  and  the  stronger  is  my  con- 
viction of  its  necessity  alike  for  the  happiness  of 
the  individual,  the  stability  of  society,  and  the 
welfare  of  the  world. 

I  make  it  a  point  to  seize  the  first  opportunity 
whicli  presents  itself  in  these  memoirs,  thus  clearly 
and  decidedly  to  express  myself  upon  this  import- 
ant subject,  because  infidelity  seems  to  have  be- 
come the  prevailing  fashion  of  the  times,  and  the 


special  boast  of  our  profession  ;  and  I  desire  to 
place  upon  record  my  sentiments  and  opinions  in 
this  regard,  and  to  leave  them  as  a  legacy  to  my 
cliildren,  as  a  souvenir  to  my  friends  and  as  a  les- 
son to  my  enemies,  with  the  hope  that  all  may 
profit  by  them.  The  man  whose  profession  brings 
him  for  a  lifetime  into  daily  contact  with  the  mis- 
fortunes of  humanity,  must  take  refuge  either  in  a 
profound  callousness,  which  refuses  to  look  beyond 
itself  and  dwarfs  his  character  and  contracts  his 
intellect  until  a  condition  of  mingled  selfishness 
and  incapacity  is  reached,  or  in  an  exalted  faith 
which  seeks  the  "  final  cause  "  of  its  surroundings, 
and  through  it  attains  to  the  idea  of  future  retri- 
bution and  of  God's  final  justice  and  loving  kind- 
ness. He  is  compelled  to  attribute  the  harrowing 
scenes  with  which  he  is  thus  made  familiar  to  the 
fiat  of  a  being  who  possesses  either  the  qualities  of 
a  devil-seeking  vengeance,  or  the  attributes  of  a 
God  having  as  a  purpose  the  ultimate  rectification 
of  a  work-  which  he  is  compelled  to  do  in  the 
vindication   of  his  governmental  policy. 

32  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

It  is  natural  to  respect  a  self-made  man — one 
who,  without  the  advantage  of  family  or  fortune, 
rises  by  the  force  of  his  own  character  and  genius 
to  the  level  of  those  who  originally  were  his  supe- 
riors. The  founder  of  a  house  really  deserves  and 
certainlycommands  as  much  of  the  world's  esteem  as 
the  descendant,  who,  by  the  mere  accident  of  birth, 
inherits  it  with  its  Lares  and  Penates.  He  who  fal- 
lows and  sows  is  universally  regarded  as  the  equal, 
at  least,  of  him  who  reaps  and  garners. 

It  is  perfectly  legitimate  that  success  in  the  ac- 
cumulation of  wealth,  or  the  attainment  of  posi- 
tion, or  tlie  acquisition  of  honors  should  engender 
an  honest  pride  in  the  bosom  of  the  man  who  has 
commanded  it — of  him  who  has  conquered  the 
adverse  circumstances  of  his  lot,  and,  in  despite  of 
opposing  obstacles,  has  attained  the  realization  of 
his  hopes  and  reached  the  summit  of  his  ambition. 
And  yet,  my  dear  doctor,  there  is  a  principle  in 
every  man's  heart  which  prompts  him  to  glor^^  in 
the  fact  that  his  ancestors  w^ere  men  of  recognized 
ability  and  standing  :  that  the  blood  which  cir- 
culates in  his  veins  has  been  refined  and  purified 
by  having  flowed  through  those  of  a  race  of  gentle- 
men. Nothing  is  more  gratifying  to  human  pride 
or  more  elevating  to  human  character  than  to  be 
able  to  trace  back  one's  forefathers  through  succes- 


sive  generationsof  unquestioned  probity  and  recog- 
nized position.  The  humblest  representative  of 
distinguished  progenitors  can  but  feel  a  tide  of 
satisfaction  rise  high  in  the  bosom  when  he  reflects 
upon  his  connection  with  them,  and  he  intuitively 
seeks  to  follow  their  example  and  to  transmit  the 
name  which  he  bears,  and  they  have  honored,  still 
unstained  to  posterity. 

It  is  true  that  success  sometimes  makes  a  fool  of 
the  individual  who  has  achieved  it.  The  pride  to 
which  he  is  entitled  because  of  his  victory  over 
an  adverse  fate,  degenerates  into  a  contemptible 
vanity;  he  thinks  that  he  has  ''the  world  in  a 
sling;"  he  affects  the  style  of  the  peacock  with  the 
same  mode  of  manifestation  ;  his  proportions  swell 
beyond  the  capacity  of  his  tailor's  measurement 
and  estimate  ;  his  alphabet  loses  all  its  letters  save 
one  and  that  is  a  personal  pronoun  ;  his  supercilious- 
ness overrides  all  rules  alike  of  propriety  and  of 
o:ood-breeding: ;  he  i2:nores  the  ladder  bv  which  he 
has  ascended  to  his  new  position,  and  claims  it  by 
virtue  of  some  prescriptive  right  or  inherent  des- 
ignation ;  and  he  assumes  an  air  of  superiority 
and  a  style  of  grandeur  which  make  him  a  butt  to 
society,  a  terror  to  his  friends,  and  a  disgrace  to 
his  kind.  I  have  seen  many  such  "on  their 
travels,"  and  as  they  assumed  to  be  representatives 
•of  the  supreme  social  development  of  America, 
and  the  most  exalted  type  of  manhood  among 
their  countrymen,  they  have  made  me  wish  a 
thousand  times  over  that  shoddyism  was  a  peniten- 
tiary offense  at  home,  and  tha.t  ^'  les  nouvenux 
riches''  were  compelled  by  a  law  of  Congress  to 
confine  themselves  to  their  native  shores.  Fortu- 
nately, this  variety  of  the  self-made  man  is  the  ex- 
ception and  not  the  rule,  and  the  disgust  and  con- 
tempt which  it  inspires  should  not  detract  from 

34  ■  A  doctor's  experiences 

the  honor  and  the  respect  so  properly  due  to  those 
who  have  honestly  and  really  elevated  themselves 
to  commanding  positions  in  life,  and  who  have  the 
wisdom  to  understand  their  surroundings  and  to 
appreciate  their  antecedents. 

I  know,  also,  that  there  are  scions  of  many  a 
noble  house  who  are  by  nature  dwarfs  and  para- 
sites, and  whose  arrogant  assumptions  elicit  uni- 
versal contempt  and  disgust.  I  acknowledge,  too, 
that  pride  of  birth  loses  all  of  its  dignity  and  pres- 
tige when  it  steps  a  hair's  breadth  beyond  its 
legitimate  limits — when  it  becomes  aught  else  than 
a  source  of  private  and  personal  gratification  be- 
cause of  the  inheritance  of  a  prouder  name  and  of 
bluer  blood  than  others,  and  an  incentive  to  walk 
in  the  path  which  illustrious  scions  "have  found 
or  have  made  "  for  their  descendants. 

It  has  been  under  the  influence  of  such  senti- 
ments as  these  that  I  have  spoken  of  my  father 
and  his  family,  and  it  is  in  response  to  the  sug- 
gestion of  similar  feelings  that  I  shall  now  give  you 
some  account  of  ray  mother^  and  of  those  from 
whom  she  has  inherited  the  virtues  which  adorn 
her  character.  I  may  speak  with  enthusiasm,  but 
it  is  the  enthusiasm  of  a  son  who  knows  and  ap- 
preciates ''the  mother  who  bore  him,  "and  who 
has  made  him  what  he  is,  or  rather,  has  taught 
him  what  he  should  be.  Thank  God  !  she  still 
lives,  having  long  since  passed  the  aUoted  boundary 
of  human  existence,  wdth  an  intellect  upon  which 
time  has  left  no  shadow,  and  a  heart  which  has 
only  grown  the  more  tender  and  loving  under  the 
strain  of  life's  trials  and  vicissitudes. 

She  was  born  at  Snowden,  the  ancient  seat  of  her 
family,  in  Stafford  County,  Virginia,  on  the  Sth  of 
January,  1808.  Her  father  was  Thomas  Alexan- 
der, and  her  mother  Elizabeth  Innes,  the  daughter 


of  Judge  Harry  Innes,  of  Kentucky— eacli  belonging 
to  an  old  and  distinguished  family.  Thomas 
Alexander  was  the  great  grandson  of  John  Alexan- 
der, whose  father  was  William  Alexander,  of 
Menstrie,  Scotland.  This  remarkable  man  be- 
longed to  the  family  of  the  Macdonalds,  Lords  of 
the  Isles,  and  his  career  was  a  most  distinguished 
one.  He  was  knighted  by  King  James,  and 
granted  the  entire  territory  of  Nova  Scotia  in  1621  ; 
he  was  sworn  in  of  the  privy  council,  and  appointed 
Secretary  of  State,  in  1626  ;  he  was  made  keeper 
of  the  signet  in  1627  ;  he  was  given  charters  of 
the  lordship  of  Canada,  and  made  a  commissioner 
of  the  exchequer,  in  1628  ;  'he  was  created  Lord 
Alexander  of  Tullibody  in  1630  ;  he  was  appointed 
oneof  the  extralords  of  session  in  1631,  and  he  was 
raised  to  the  dignity  of  Earl  of  Stirling  and  Viscount 
Canada,  by  patent  dated  June  14th,  1633.  As  a 
special  mark  of  his  sovereign's  confidence  and  favor, 
with  the  grant  of  Nova  Scotia  he  was  accorded 
permission  to  divide  the  Province  into  one  hundred 
parts  or  tracts,  and  to  dispose  of  each  of  them,  to- 
gether with  the  title  of  Baron — which  he  did, 
realizing  from  each  purchase  the  sum  of  two  hun- 
dred pounds  sterling.  His  second  son,  John  Alex- 
ander, emigrated  to  the  colony  of  Virginia  in  1669, 
settled  in  Stafford  County,  and  purchased  the 
Howison  patent  of  land,  which  extended  from 
Georgetown  to  Hunting  Creek,  and  embraced  the 
site  of  Alexandria,  which  was  called  after  him. 
Brock,  in  the  admirable  "Records  of  old  Virginia 
Families,"  which  he  has  recently  published,  says 
of  this  one:  "  Of  honored  American  families,  not 
one  was  more  early  or  has  been  more  continuously 
conspicuous  for  worth,  ability  and  essential  service 
toward  material  progress  and  general  enlighten- 
ment than  that  of  Alexander."     Indeed,  a  care- 

36  A  doctor's  experiences 

fill  examination  of  its  history  shows  that  among  its 
immediate  representatives  and  those  who  have  been 
connected  with  it  by  marriage  appear  the  names 
of  some  of  the  ablest  and  purest  men  that  our 
country  has  known,  and  that  not  one  of  its  members 
has  ever  reflected  dishonor  upon  his  name  and 

My  grandfather,  after  having  served  with  dis- 
tinction as  a  captain  in  the  War  of  1812,  retired 
to  his  fine  estate  in  Henrico  County,  Virginia,  and 
died  at  a  comparatively  early  age,  leaving  his  wife 
with  four  daughters  to  mourn  his  loss.  He  is  said 
to  have  been  a  gentleman  of  thorough  education, 
of  an  unusually  handsome  person,  and  of  the  highest 

My  grandmother  was  the  daughter  of  Judge 
Harry  Innes,  first  of  Virginia  and  subsequently  of 
Kentucky  ;  and  I  will  speak  of  him  and  then  re- 
turn to  her,  as  I  want  j^ou  to  know  something  of 
both  of  them. 

Some  weeks  since  I  was  visiting  a  patient  at  the 
Hotel  Chatham,  and,  in  coming  out,  I  turned  into 
the  Rue  Volney,  where  my  carriage  awaited  me. 
Just  before  stepping  into  it,  I  observed  a  bookstall 
wherein  many  old  volumes  were  exposed  for  sale, 
and  with  my  usual  curiosity  in  such  matters,  I 
turned  and  examined  them.  One  of  the  first  that 
attracted  my  attention  was  "  Collins'  Kentucky," 
which  I  purchased,  as  I  knew  that  my  grandmother 
was  born  in  that  State,  and  I  hoped  to  obtain  some 
further  information  respecting  her  family.  My. 
hopes  were  fully  realized,  for  I  found  in  it  a  sketch  of 
my  great  granclfather.  Judge  Harry  Innes,  which  I 
shall  introduce, at  this  point,  so  that  you  may  know 
how  good  and  great  a  man  he  was  : 

"  The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  born  in  1752  in 
Caroline  County,  Virginia.     His  father,  the  Rev. 


Piobert  Innes,  of  the  Episcopal  Church,  was  a  native 
of  Scotland,  and  married  CatherineRichards,  of  Vir- 
ginia, by  whom  he  had  three  sons,  Eobert,  Harry  and 
James.  The  eldest  was  a  physician,  and  Harry  and 
James  read  law  with  Mr.  Rose,  of  Virginia.  Harry 
was  a  schoolmate  of  the  late  President  Madison. 
James  was  attorney -general  of  Virginia,  and  one  of 
the  most  eloquent  debaters  in  the  convention  which 
adopted  the  present  Constitution  of  the  United 
States.  During  the  administration  of  "President 
Washington  he  was  deputed  to  Kentucky  as  a 
special  envoy  to  explain  to  Governor  Shelby  and 
the  Legislature  the  measures  in  progress  by  the 
Government  of  the  United  States  to  secure  the 
navigation  of  the  Mississippi. 

^'In  1776-'7,  while  the  lead  mines  became  objects 
of  national  solicitude  and  public  care,  for  procur- 
ing a  supply  necessary  to  the  revolutionary  contest, 
the  subject  of  this  sketch  was  employed  by  the 
committee  of  public  safety  in  Virginia  to  superin- 
tend the  workings  of  Chipril's  mines.  His  ability, 
zeal  and  fidelity  in  that  employment  commanded 
the  thanks  of  that  committee.  In  1779  he  was 
elected  by  the  Legislature  of  Virginia  a  commis- 
sioner to  hear  and  determine  the  claims  to  unpat- 
ented lands  in  the  district  including  Abingdon. 
That  duty  he  performed  to  public  satisfaction.  In 
1783  he  was  elected  by  the  Legislature  of  Virginia 
one  of  the  judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  for  the  district 
of  Kentucky,  and  on  the  third  day  of  November  of 
that  year  he  entered  upon  the  duties  of  his  com- 
mission at  Crow's  station,  near  Danville,  in  con- 
junction with  the  Hon.  Caleb  Wallace  and  Samuel 
McDowell.  In  1784  he  was  elected  by  the  Legisla- 
ture of  Virginia  attorney-general  for  the  district  of 
Kentucky,  in  the  place  of  Walker  Daniel,  who  fell 
a  victim  to  the  savage  foe.     In   1785  he  entered 

38  A  doctor's  experiences 

upon  the  duties  of  that  office,  in  which  he  con- 
tinued until  he  was  appointed  in  1787  judge  of  the 
court  of  the  United  States  for  the  Kentucky  dis- 
trict, the  duties  of  which  he  discharged  until  his 
death  in  Septemher,  1816. 

"  Upon  the  erection  of  Kentucky  into  an  indepen- 
dent State  in  1792,  he  was  offered,  but  declined, 
the  office  of  chief  justice.  He  was  president  of  the 
first  electoral  college  for  the  choice  of  governor  and 
lieutenant-governor  under  the  first  constitution. 
In  April,  1790,  he  was  authorized  by  the  Secretary 
of  War — General  Knox — to  call  out  the  scouts  for 
the  protection  of  the  frontier  ;  and  in  1791  he  was 
associated  with  Scott,  Shelby,  Logan  and  Brown 
as  a  local  board  of  war  for  the  western  county,  to 
call  out  the  militia  on  expeditions  against  the 
Indians,  in  conjunction  with  the  commanding  of- 
ficers of  the  United  States,  and  to  apportion  scouts 
through  the  exposed  tracts  of  the  district.  In  all 
these  responsible  capacities  the  conduct  of  Judge 
Innes  was  without  reproach,  and  raised  him  most 
deservedly  high  in  the  public  esteem,  and  he  re- 
ceived the  repeated  thanks  of  General  Washington 
for  the  discharge  of  high  trusts.  As  a  judge,  he 
was  patient  to  hear,  diligent  to  investigate,  and 
impartial  to  decide.  These  qualities  were  especially 
requisite  in  his 'position  as  the  sole  judge,  until 
1807,  of  the  court  of  the  United  States  for  the  dis- 
trict of  Kentucky,  whose  decisions  were  final,  un- 
less reversed  by  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United 
States.  As  a  neighbor,  as  an  agriculturist,  and  as 
a  polished  gentleman,  in  all  the  relations  of  private 
and  social  life,  he  was  the  model  of  his  day  and 

His  brother,  the  Hon.  James  Innes,  was  not 
only  attorney-general  of  Virginia^  as  has  been  al- 
ready stated,  but  he  was  offered  the  appointment 


of  Attorney-G-eneral  of  the  United  States  by  Gen- 
eral Washin2:ton  himself.  He  died  in  Philadel- 
phia,  whither  he  had  gone  on  official  business,  in 
consequence  of  the  rupture  of  an  aneurism,  and  he 
lies  interred  in  Christ  Church  burying-ground  in 
that  city.  Mr.  Wirt  speaks  of  him  in  "The  Life  of 
Patrick  Henry"  with  great  enthusiasm,  and  pro- 
nounces him  one  of  the  most  splendid  orators  of 
that  age  of  eloquence. 

Judge  Harry  Innes  married  first  Elizabeth  Cal- 
laway, of  Bedford  County,  Virginia,  who  died 
shortly  after  his  removal  to  Kentucky,  and.  secondly 
Mrs.  Shields,  of  that  State.  My  grandmother  was 
one  of  the  four  daughters  who  were  the  issue  of  his 
first  marriage  ;  and  the  wife  of  the  Hon.  John  J. 
Crittenden  was  the  only  child  of  the  second.  Con- 
temporary historians  speak  in  the  most  flattering 
terms  of  the  virtues,  services  and  abilities  of  the 
various  I'epresentatives  of  the  Innes  family^  and  the 
record  shows  that  alike  as  private  gentlemen  and 
as  public  servants  their  lives  were  without  spot  or 

Among  my  first  recollections  of  my  grandmother 
Alexander  is  her  wedding — I  mean,  naturally,  her 
second  one — which  took  place  at  my  father's  house 
in  Edenton  when  I  was  a  "small  boy,"  and  cared 
far  more  for  the  "good  things"  with  which  the 
€vent  was  celebrated  than  for  the  remarkable  cir- 
cumstance of  being  a  witness  to  the  marriage  of  a 
grand-parent.  Subsequently  I  spent  the  summers 
of  many  years  at  her  residence  in  Campbell  County, 
Virginia,  and  my  mind  is  filled  with  the  most 
pleasant  memories  of  her  and  of  her  beautiful 
home,  Contentand  good  cheer  reigned  in  undisputed 
sway  beneath  her  hospitable  roof.  I  have  often  seen 
her  house  crowded  with  visitors,  who  came  and 
lingered   to  enjoy  the   "loving    cup"    filled    with 

40  A  doctor's  experiences 

•  tempting  julep,  which  was  sent  with  the  rising  of  the 
sun  to  every  guest ;  the  grand  breakfast  of  hot  rolls, 
loaf-bread,  batter-cakes,  mufHns,  fried  chicken ^ 
broiled  ham,  boiled  eggs,  fresh  butter,  and  count- 
less other  delicacies  which  were  spread  out  at  eight 
a.  m.,  and  at  which  it  was  a  point  of  honor  to  be 
present;  the  pleasant  rambles  'mid  the  flowers  of 
the  Isivvii  and  the  oaks  of  the  grove  and  the  grass 
of  the  meadows  ;  the  mighty  dinners  of  flesh 
and  fowl  of  every  variety  of  choicest  vegetables- 
from  the  garden,  and  richest  fruits  from  the  or- 
chard, supplemented  by  treasures  of  pickles  and 
sauces,  and  followed  by  a  profusion  of  cakes,  tarts,, 
puddings,  ices,  and  plates  of  peaches  and  milk — 
milk  as  rich  as  the  rankest  of  clover  could  make  it, 
and  as  cold  as  the  ice-house  itself;  the  siesta  be- 
neath the  aspens  in  the  yard,  with  a  watermelon 
feast  as  its  finale ;  the  tempting  suppers  of  fra- 
grant tea  and  aromatic  coffee  and  hot  biscuits  and 
crispy  waffles  and  steaming  batter-cakes  and  end- 
less sweetmeats,  which  were  served  by  a  crowd  of 
smiling  darkeys  with  the  twilight  shadows ;  and 
the  pleasant  reunion  in  the  drawing-room  at  night, 
with  its  genial  talk,  its  rich  jokes,  its  pleasant 
stories,  its  sweet  melodies,  and  its  old  Virginia 
reel  as  a  conclusion  to  the  day's  enjoyment. 

It  has  been  at  least  forty  years  since  I  visited  the 
scene  of  all  this  hospitality  and  happiness,  and  in 
the  mean  time  things  have  changed — completely 
changed — I  can  assure  you.  The  two  old  people 
have  long  been  sleeping  beneath  the  shadow  of  St. 
Stephen's — the  country  church  in  which  they 
prayed  together  with  hearts  overflowing  with  love 
and  thankfulness.  Otter  View,  their  once  beauti- 
ful home,  has  passed  into  the  hands  of  strangers, 
while  its  hospitable  roof  is  crumbling,  its  flower 
beds  have  been  devastated  by  the  ploughshare,  its 


magnificent  oaks  have  been  devoted  to  the  con- 
struction of  negro  cabins,  its  trembling  aspens  have 
been  sold  as  fire-wood,  despite  the  initials  of  my 
sweetheart  which  adorned  them  ;  its  well-kept  gar- 
den has  been  consecrated  to  the  tobacco  crop,  its 
obsequious  darkeys  have  gone  where  '^  the  good  nig- 
gers go,"  and  its  beauties  and  glories  are  only  things 
of  memory  and  tradition.  And  the  joyous  throngs 
that  once  delighted  to  revel  in  the  unclouded  hos- 
pitality of  this  old  Virginia  home — where  are  they  ? 
They  have  disappeared  completely,  vanished  like 
some  passing  cloud  that  leaves  no  trace  upon  the 
heavens.  Many  a  one  is  sleeping  his  last  sleep, 
buried  perchance  beneath  the  sod  of  some  alien 
field,  or  with  '^the  boys  at  Richmond,"  or  under 
the  solitary  cedars  of  the  neighboring  cemetery ; 
while  others,  with  whitened  locks  and  tottering 
limbs,  are  nursing  their  grandchildren  and  talking 
of  the  "better  times  before  the  war;"  and  one 
who  was  the  gayest  of  them  all  is  sitting  with 
rifled  heart  and  weary  brain  by  his  solitary  fireside 
in  a  land  of  strangers,  writing  the  history  of  those 
happier  days,  and  musing  over  the  mutability  of 
earthly  things,  and  the  strange  problem  of  human 

1  spoke  of  the  last  time  I  saw  Otter  View,  and 
there  is  an  incident  connected  with  ray  journey 
thither  which  is  worth  relating.  Having  obtained 
a  leave  of  absence  from  the  faculty  of  the  Univer- 
sity of  Virginia,  where  I  was  then  pursuinj^;  my 
studies,  I  drove  over  to  a  small  town  on  the  James 
and  took  a  canal  boat  for  Lynchburg.  A  fellow- 
student  by  the  name  of  Burwell,  a  man  full  of  life 
and  cleverness,  who  was  returning  to  his  home  in 
Franklin  County,  accompanied  me,  and  as  we  were 
young  and  the  sky  was  cloudless,  and  the  country 
was  beautiful,  we  enjoyed  the  drive  amazingly. 

42  A  doctor's  experiences 

On  our  arrival,  we  alighted  at  "  Dyer's  Hotel," 
called  for  a  room,  made  our  preparations  for  dinner, 
and,  in  accordance  with  the  customs  of  the  times, 
asked  for  a  ^' drink  of  whisky"  as  a  preliminary 
to  the  meal.  To  our  great  surprise,  the  darkey  in 
attendance  declined  to  comply  with  our  demand, 
saying,  '^It's  agin  Mass  Dyer's  orders,  and  I  darnst 
to  fetch  it."  We  then  demanded  that  he  should 
bring  up  the  landlord,  as  we  wanted  an  explanation 
of  what  seemed  to  our  youthful  minds  the  most  ex- 
traordinary thing  that  had  ever  occurred  ^^  south  of 
Mason's  and  Dixon's  line."  In  a  few  moments- 
mine  host  appeared,  looking  as  if  he  had  been 
born  and  reared  in  a  distillery,  but  with  a  temper- 
ance lecture  upon  the  tip  of  his  tongue.  ''You 
want  a  drink,  young  men,"  he  began  with  great 
solemnity;  "I  would  as  soon  give  you  fire  and 
brimstone,  for  whisky  is  a  device  of  hell  and  a 
trick  of  the  devil.  I  warn  you  never  to  touch  or 
taste  the  unclean  thing.  Shun  the  cup;  turn  your 
backs  upon  it ;  fly  from  it  as  you  would  from  the  chol- 
era and  a  mad  dog.  I  am  for  temperance — for  tem- 
perance against  the  world,  the  flesh,  and  the  devil. 
Follow  me  ;  follow  in  my  footsteps ;  take  the  pledge ; 
never  drink  a  drop  yourselves,  and  start  a  temper- 
ance hotel.  This  is  my  house,  young  men,  and  I 
keep  it  in  my  way.  If  you  want  a  drink,  go  to  a 
'rum  mill'  and  get  it,  for  this  is  a  temperance 
hotel,  and  you  can't  drink  spirits  in  it  while  I  am 
above  ground,  sure  as  my  name  is  Dyer." 

"  But,  Mr.  Dyer,"  put  in  Burwell,  who  was  a 
genuine  wag,  "  while  I  respect  your  principles  and 
am  delighted  with  your  hotels  I  am  just  dying  of 
thirst,  and  I  must  have  a  drink." 

"Bring  this  thirsty  man  a  glass  of  ice-water, 
Caleb,"  was  Dyer's  laconic  command. 

"  But,  Mr.  Dyer— hold  on,  Caleb,"  said  Burwell, 


^^  although  I  like  cold  water  as  well  as  the  next 
man — that  is,  on  my  hands  and  face  when  they  need 
it — it  won't  begin  to  fill  the  hill  in  this  case.  T 
am  a  sick  man,  sir,  a  very  sick  man,  and  I  need  a 
drink  as  a  medicine." 

"  Bring  this  sick  man  a  dose  of  castor  oil,  Caleb," 
shouted  thejmplacable  landlord^  as  he  marched  off, 
proud  of  himself  and  glorying  in  his  temperance 

"  Jeemes  Eiver  !"  exclaimed  Burwell,  giving  a 
long  whistle  of  disgust,  "  I  am  going  out  to  see  if 
the  whole  town  has  joined  the  temperance  society, 
and  if  I  can't  hunt  up  a  little  whisky  for  love  or 
money.  This  nonsense  is  all  wrong,  it  is  against 
the  Bill  of  Rights,  clearly."' 

He  soon  returned  with  a  beaming  face  and  a  bottle 
of  whisky,  and  we  each  took  '^  forty  drops"  for 
the  stomach's  sake,  and  went  to  dinner.  After 
the  meal  we  sauntered  over  the  town,  and  finally 
returned  to  our  room,  where  a  spectacle  met  my 
gaze  that  I  shall  remember  to  the  end  of  my  ex- 
istence. U'pon  the  table  stood  the  bottle  emptied 
completely  of  its  contents^  and  under,  it  lay  the 
prostrate  form  of  the  great  temperance  advocate, 
the  immaculate  Dyer,  as  drunk  as  Bacchus. 

We  called  for  Caleb,  had  our  effects  carried  to 
another  chamber,  and  left  when  the  boat  arrived, 
abundantly  satisfied  with  Dyer  and  his  temperance 

It  seems  that  the  poor  wretch  had  been  a  great 
drunkard,  but  that  a  short  time  before  our  arrival 
he  had  ''sworn  off,"  "taken  the  pledge,"  and 
christened  his  house  "Dyer's  Temperance  Hotel." 

Unfortunately,  the  sight  of  the  plethoric  bottle 
had  proved  too  much  for  his  new-born  virtue,  and 
yielding  to  the  temptation  of  the  moment,  he  had 
fallen  from  grace,  drunk  to  his  fill,  and  tumbled 

44  A  doctor's  experiences 

under  the  table  in  a  state  of  helpless  and  hopeless 

When  I  last  heard  of  the  unfortunate  Dyer,  his 
hotel  was  closed,  and  he  was  filling  a  ''  drunkard's 
grave"  upon  the  banks  of  the  beautiful  James,  as 
many  a  better  man  has  done,  and  will  do,  for  the 
temperance  cause  can  never  flourish  where  "  green 
mint"  grows  as  luxuriantly  as  it  does'in  the  Old 

My  grandmother  Alexander  was  a  remarkable 
woman,  for  she  inherited  the  strong  sense,  the  ster- 
ling virtues,  and  the  courtly  bearing  0/ her  family. 
She  was  the  very  soul  of  kindness,  gentleness  and 
good  breeding.  Although  deprived  of  her  vision 
at  a  compai-atively  early  period,  she  retained  her 
vivacity  and  her  cheerfulness  to  the  end  of  life. 
The  war  swept  away  her  property  and  left  her  de- 
pendent, but  she  never  murmured,  and  she  smiled 
and  prayed  on,  until  at  the  advanced  age  of  ninety- 
two  years  her  final  summons  came. 

Having  been  born  in  Kentucky  wdien  it  was 
known  as  the  "  dark  and  bloody  ground,"  she  had 
a  thousand  interesting  stories  to  tell — such  as  of 
Daniel  Boone  and  his  wonderful  adventures  with 
"  the  savage  foe  ;"  of  life  in  the  ^^  block-houses"  to 
which  the  women  and  children  were  constantly 
compelled  to  fly  for  shelter  ;  of  encounters  with  the 
Indians  which  she  had  seen  and  in  which  she  had 
actually  taken  part  ;  of  the  capture  of  lier  relatives, 
two  daughters  of  Colonel  Calloway,  and  their  sub- 
sequent rescue  at  a  distance  of  forty  miles  from  the 
fort  by  Col.  Nicholson  ;  of  the  ill-fated  expedition 
of  Colonel  Bowman,  when  he  went  out  w^ith  the 
flower  of  Kentucky's  chivalry,  and  returned  after 
having  lost  nearly  his  entire  command,  despite  the 
desperate  bravery  of  Logan,  his  second  officer  ;  of 
the  history  of  that  extraordinary  man — remarkable 


alike  for  his  talents  and  his  prostitution  of  them — 
Aaron  Burr,  over  whose  first  trial  her  father  pre- 
sided, and  by  whom  so  many  good  men  and  fair 
women  were  deceived  and  ruined  ;  of  the  chivalrous 
Blennerhasset,  whose  beautiful  island  home  was  once 
the  consummation  of  the  poet's  dream,  and  whose 
misfortunes  have  excited  so  profound  and  general 
a  sympathy  ;  of  Henry  Clay,  when  without  friends 
or  fortune,  but  with  great  talents  and  high  courage, 
lie  was  commencing  that  career  which  ultimately 
reflected  so  much  glory  upon  his  country,  and  made 
him  the  object  of  an  idolatry  without  a  precedent 
in  the  history  of  the  nation  ;  of  her  own  illustrious 
father,  to  whom  the  highest  positions  came  unsought 
and  were  held  unsullied,  who,  by  common  consent, 
was  recognized  as  the  first  gentleman  and  the 
ablest  jurist  of  his  day,  and  who  enjoyed  the  dis- 
tinction of  being  a  trusted  friend  of  G-eorge  Wash- 
ington ;  and  of  a  multitude  of  other  incidents  and 
persons  of  equal  interest,  with  which  and  with 
whom  the  threads  of  her  early  life  had  been  inter- 

I  have  lingered  long  over  this  theme  of  pedigree, 
m}^  friend,  not  to  glorify  myself  in  the  slightest 
degree — not  to  afiect  or  to  claim  aught  of  superior- 
ity over  my  fellows — but  that  you  and  my  children 
may  understand  the  sources  whence  I  have  drawn 
the  inspirations  of  my  life,  and  because  it  has  been 
from  the  commingling  of  the  blood  and  virtues  of 
these  good  and  loyal  people  that  she  has  sprung  to 
whom  I  owe  my  existence,  and  upon  whom  my 
heart  has  ever  lavished  all  the  love  and  reverence 
of  which  it  is  capable.  It  is  from  this  truly  noble 
stock — these  honorable  and  distinguished  ancestors 
— that  my  mother  has  descended,  and  I  can  say, 
with  truth  and  pride,  that  every  trait  of  character 
and  quality  of  mind  which  they  possessed^  have 

46  A  doctor's  experiences 

found  in  her  its  counterpart  and  parallel.  Honor- 
ing her  husband  supremely,  the  religion  of  her  life 
has  been  to  share  his  burdens,  to  divide  his  sor- 
rows, to  smooth  his  pathway,  to  nurse  him  in  his 
sickness,  to  sustain  him  in  the  hour  of  death,  and 
to  guard  his  memory  as  a  sacred  trust.  Loving 
her  children  with  an  affection  akin  to  idolatry,  she 
has  lived  to  sow  only  the  seeds  of  virtue  in  their 
hearts,  to  make  their  joys  and  sorrows  hers,  to  hold 
perpetually  before  them  their  father's  life  as  "  a 
lamp  to  their  feet,"  and  by  precept  and  example 
to  point  their  way  to  that  '^better  land"  where 
hope  has  its  fruition  and  faith  its  recompense. 

Such  is,  and  has  always  been,  my  mother,  and 
it  is  not  surprising  that  a  nature  so  full  of  tender- 
ness, so  self-sacrificing  and  devoted,  should  inspire 
her  children  with  sentiments  of  the  deepest  affec- 
tion and  of  the  most  supreme  respect.  '^I  have 
had  my  reward  already,"  she  once  said,  when 
spoken  to  in  regard  to  her  love  for  her  family,  ^^for 
not  one  of  my  chiklren  has  ever  told  me  a  falsehood 
or  disobeyed  me."  The  principle  of  compensation 
thus  finds  one  of  its  most  significant  illustrations 
in  the  reciprocal  love  and  devotion  which  exists  be- 
tween this  good  w^oman  and  those  to  whom  she  has 
given  existence. 

My  grandmother's  half-sister,  Maria  Jones — the 
issue  of  her  father's  second  marriage — first  married 
Chief-Justice  Todd,  of  Kentucky,  and  afterward  the 
Hon.  J.  J.  Crittenden,  the  distinguished  Governor 
and  the  eloquent  Senator,  whose  popularity  through- 
out the  entire  country  was  hardly  less  than  that  of 
the  great  Kentuckian  himself. 

Having  been  sent  at  the  age  of  fifteen  to  a  board- 
ing-school in  Fairfax  County,  Virginia,  it  was  my 
habit  to  spend  my  holidays  in  Washington  as  the 
guest  of  Mrs.  Crittenden,  and  I  thus  had  an  oppor- 


tunity  of  becoming  well  acquainted  with  her  and 
her  illustrious  husband,  as  well  as  with  many  of 
the  most  renowned  statesmen  of  that  day. 

I  was  born  in  Tyrrell  County,  North  Carolina, 
where  my  parents  settled  soon  after  their  marriage, 
but  my  recollections  of  it  are  very  indistinct,  as 
they  removed  to  the  town  of  Edenton  when  I  was 
only  four  years  of  age. 

Edenton  is  so  named  in  honor  of  Charles  Eden, 
one  of  the  early  governors  of  North  Carolina,  and 
is  one  of  the  oldest  as  well  as  most  beautiful  of 
Southern  towns,  having  been  incorporated  in  1712. 
It  is  situated  on  a  bay  which  is  scarcely  less  pic- 
turesque than  that  of  Naples,  embowered  in  ma- 
jestic elms,  adorned  with  luxuriant  gardens,  filled 
with  antiquated  but  beautiful  mansions,  and  has 
as  a  background  a  forest  of  sighing  pines  and  weep- 
ing cypresses.  It  was  there  that  my  boyhood  was 
spent  and  the  first  venture  of  my  manhood  made, 
and  it  is  within  the  precincts  of  its  old  church-yard 
that  I  would  like  to  sleep  when  the  labors  of  life 
are  ended.  - 

48  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor: 

It  pained  me  greatly  to  leave  thebaven  in  which 
my  boyhood  had  been  spent  so  quietly,  and  to 
launch  out  into  the  world.  Independent  of  my 
love  for  m)^  family  and  friends,  I  had  a  real  affec- 
tion for  my  home — for  the  roof  which  had  covered 
me  so  long  ;  for  the  trees  under  which  I  had 
played  from  earliest  da3^s  ;  for  the  flowers  that 
bloomed  beneath  my  window  and  filled  the  house 
with  perfume  and  my  heart  with  gladness  ;  for 
the  birds  that  built  their  nests  in  the  arbor,  and 
sang  so  sweetly  all  the  day  long;  for  the  ''^old 
mammy  "  who  nursed  me  with  such  unfaltering 
tenderness,  and  stocked  my  brain  with  camp-meet- 
ing tunes  and  the  superstitions  of  her  race  ;  and 
for  the  beautiful  bay  and  the  majestic  sound  and 
the  gloomy  forest  and  all  the  various  objects  with 
which  my  existence  had  been  identified.  It  was 
sad,  indeed,  to  be  compelled  to  turn  my  back  upon 
those  who  were  dearest  to  me  and  the  objects  which 
I  loved  so  fondly,  and  I  went  off  with  as  sad  a  heart 
as  ever  beat  in  a  boyish  bosom. 

This  sadness  was  increased  by  the  expectation 
of  being  forced  to  give  more  attention  to  my  books 
than  my  inclination  prompted,  and  of  being  de- 
barred from  the  jay  of  my  life — the  pleasure  of 
wanderins:  about  the  countrv.  It  is  true  that  I  had 
been  a  great  reader,  but  I  had  shamefully  neglected 


my  studies — partly  from  an  inherent  spirit  of  rebel- 
lion against  coercion  of  all  kinds,  and  for  the  reason 
that  the  system  of  instruction  to  which  I  had  been 
subjected  awakened  in  me  only  a  feeling  of  resent- 
ment and  indignation.  Long  years  have  passed 
since  then,  and  I  am  not  disposed  to  rake  up  the 
ashes  of  the  past,  but  I  will  say  this  much,  at 
least :  It  was  a  system  of  favoritism  and  partisan- 
ship of  the  lowest  description.  There  was  a 
chronic  quarrel  in  the  "  board  of  trustees,"  and 
my  father  headed  one  of  the  factions,  while 
another  physician  led  the  other,  which,  for  the 
time  being,  was  the  more  powerful.  As  the 
teachers  were  elected  by  this  board,  and  were 
directly  responsible  to  it,  they  made  it  the  study 
of  their  lives  to  please  only  the  stronger  paity. 
The  sons  of  those  trustees  who  belonged  to  the 
majority  were,  therefore,  placed  at  the  head  of 
their  classes  and  kept  there,  while  those  of  us  who 
appertained  to  the  minority  were  pronounced 
dunces,  and  made  to  appear  as  such  under  all  cir- 
cumstances. I  remember  well  the  public  exami- 
nation of  a  class  in  geography^  when  Tom  Jones 
was  called  up  and  questioned  in  regard  to  the  State 
of  Georgia. 

Teacher  :  '•  Thomas,  what  can  you  tell  me  about 

No  response. 

Teacher:  '^  Thomas,  don't  be  afraid,  as  good  a 
scholar  as  you  are  must  not  lose  his  head  because 
of  a  'public  examination.'  What  is  the  capital 
of  Georgia?" 

A  dead  silence. 

Teacher:   "This  is  unaccountable  !     A  boy  who 
has  stood  at  the  head  of  his  class  during  the  entire 
session  not  able  to  answer  a  word  in  public  !     Col- 

50  A  doctor's  experiences 

lect  your  thoughts,  Thomas,  and  tell  me  how 
Georgia  is  bounded." 

Not  a  word  in  reply. 

Teacher:  '-What  do  you  mean?  Have  you 
lost  your  tongue  ?  Has  the  23resence  of  all  these 
people  taken  your  senses  completely  away  ?  What 
is  the  matter  with  you  ?  Can't  you  answer  a  word 
about  Georgia  ?" 

"  Why,  Mr.  D ,"  cried  out  Thomas,  ''don't 

you  know  that  Georgia  ain't  my  State?  You 
gave  me  Virginia  to  learn,  and  I  know  it  like  a 

The  secret  was  out,  and  the  system  of  instruc- 
tion pursued  in  the  academy  was  made  apparent. 
Tom  Jones  was  by  nature  an  ass,  but  he  was  a 
son  of  one  of  the  majority  of  the  board — a  board 
which  had  just  elected  the  teacher  for  another  term 

and  raised  his  salary  besides — and  Mr.  D ,  in 

order  to  ffive  eclat  to  his  examination  on  o:eoo:ra- 
phy,  had  assigned  him  a  particular  State  on  which 
he  was  to  prepare  himself,  and  then  to  be  publicly 
questioned.  By  some  accident  things  became 
mixed  in  the  teacher's  mind,  and  he  questioned  his 
favorite  on  Geoi'sria  instead  of  Yirojinia — with  the 
result  above  indicated.  This  incident,  with  others 
ol    a    similar    nature,  developed    in  my    mind    so 

supreme  a  disgust  for  Mr.  D and  for  teachers 

in  general,  as  to  cause  me  to  neglect  my  books 
and  to  get  fearfully  behindhand  in  my  studies. 

I  had  not  the  hunter's  instincts^  but  the  ram- 
bler's, and  though  my  dog  and  gun  were  m}''  con- 
stant companions,  I  have  not  much  to  answer  for 
so  far  as  the  slaughter  of  the  birds  of  the  air  and 
the  denizens  of  the  forest  are  concerned.  The  de- 
light of  my  heart  was  to  hold  communion  with  Na- 
ture and  myself  under  the  spreading  trees  of  the 
forest, or  beneath  the  blue  sky  of  the  fields,  or  on 


the  reedy  banks  of  the  creek  or  by  the  sandy  shores 
of  the  sound,  or  wherev^er  I  could  find  most  of  soli- 
tude and  least  of  human  fellowship. 

To  me,  with  these  tastes  and  habits,  the  ^' rough 
and  tumble ' '  life  of  a  boarding  school  seemed  ap- 
palling, and  I  looked  forward  with  dread  to  the 
surrender  of  this  source  of  enjoyment,  and,  as  I  be- 
lieved, of  moral  development. 

My  dog  I  loved  passionately,  for  he  was  unusally 
intelligent,  while  his  attachment  to  me  was  some- 
thing remarkable.  He  was  certainly  capable  of 
reasoning  and  he  understood  every  word  that  fell 
from  my  lips.  That  he  was  cognizant  of  my  ex- 
pected departure  I  am  convinced,  for  he  gave  evi- 
dence of  much  distress  of  mind,  refusing  food,  rov- 
ing restlessly  about  with  drooping  ears  and  trailing 
tail,  and  an  occasional  moan  which  resembled  that 
of  a  sick  child.  When  I  bade  him  good-bye,  as  I 
did  with  my  arms  folded  about  his  neck  and  tears 
streaming  from  my  eyes,  I  never  beheld  in  any 
countenance  a  look  of  such  profound  sorrow  as  I 
saw  in  his.  It  was  with  great  difficulty  that  he 
could  be  prevented  from  following  me,  while  his 
whimper  of  pain  had  something  so  human  in  it 
that  it  has  sounded  in  my  ears  ever  since.  Alas  I 
I  never  saw  my  beloved  Byron  again,  though  I 
have  shed  many  a  tear  over  his  grave,  for  on  the 
night  of  my  departure  he  stole  into  my  room,  lay 
himself  upon  my  bed,  and  was  found  on  the  suc- 
ceeding morning  stiff  and  cold,  having  died  of  a 
broken  heart. 

My  father,  who  was  greatly  grieved  by  this  sad 
event,  had  him  placed  in  a  coffin  and  decently 
buried  beneath  the  old  pear  tree  in  the  garden,, 
where  he  still  sleeps  peacefully  and  not  forgotten. 

Can  it  be  that  this  noble  creature,  who  in  life 
manifested  th^  attributes  of  courage,  love,  fidelity,^ 

52  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  devotion  even  unto  death,  shall  be  left  to  sleej) 
on  "a  mass  of  common  dust,"  when  other  beings 
inferior  in  intellect  and  character  are  awakened  by 
the  final  trump?  I  cannot  say  or  even  conjecture, 
l)ut  of  one  thing  I  am  sure:  If  I  am  '^called"'  in 
that  day  of  doom,  and  find  myself  possessed  of  con- 
sciousness and  identity,  I  shall  look  for  the  well- 
remembered  form  of  my  faithful  friend,  and  shall 
hope  to  liear  his  bark  of  welcome  and  delight  again. 

As  I  write  these  words,  unbidden  tears  fall  upon 
my  paper,  for  they  unlock  the  coffers  of  memory 
and  bring  out  thoughts  and  recollections  of  the 
past  which  quite  unman  me. 

Speaking  of  Byron  reminds  me  of  Fanny,  the 
little  dog  that  my  children  raised  in  those  hard 
years  in  Baltimore  just  after  the  war,  and  loved  so 
well,  because,  perchance,  they  had  so  little  to  di- 
vide with  her.  Do  you  remember  her  extraordi- 
nary conduct  when  my  little  boy  was  taken?  At 
any  rate  I  will  repeat  the  story,  for  it  is  worth  it. 
Just  before  Ned's  death,  Fanny  came  running  into 
the  room,  sprang  upon  the  bed,  gazed  with  a  wist- 
ful look  into  his  face  for  an  instant,  licked  his  cold 
a,nd  clammy  hands,  and  then,  with  a  low  wail  and 
an  expression  of  unutterable  sadness,  ran  wildly 
away  as  if  she  were  pursued  or  had  run  mad.  She. 
was  not  seen  again  until  the  remains  of  our  dar- 
ling had  been  carried  away,  when  she  crawled 
from  beneath  a  bed  in  another  chamber,  the  very 
picture  of  despair  and  almost  a  type  of  emaciation, 
for  she  had  not  stirred  nor  tasted  food  for  two  en- 
tire days.  That  she  knew  he  was  dead  and  we 
were  wn-etched,  she  indicated  in  many  ways  for 
several  weeks.  Indeed,  she  never  recovered  her 
wonted  playfulness,  wdiile  she  manifested  an  in- 
creased affection  for  every  member  of  the  family 
from  that  time  forward. 



Some  months  afterward  there  came  into  my  of- 
fice a  little  boy,  the  tones  of  whose  voice  at  once 
reminded  me  of  those  of  my  own  dead  son,  so  much 
so  in  truth  that  I  found  difficulty  in  commanding 
myself  sufficiently  to  prescribe  for  him.  In  a  mo- 
ment I  heard  Fanny  scratching  and  barking  vio- 
lently at  the  door,  and  when  I  |)crmitted  her  to  en- 
ter she  sprang  upon  him,  and  overwhelmed  him 
with  caresses.  These  demonstrations  of  delight 
lasted  but  an  instant,  for  she  seemed  to  take  in 
the  situation  at  a  glance  and  to  understand  that 
even  her  acute  senses  had  been  deceived  ;  her  merry 
bark  immediately  changed  into  a  distressed  whim- 
per, her  ears  fell  and  her  tail  trailed  on  the  floor, 
and  she  turned  and  rushed  away,  the  very  picture 
of  sorrow  and  disappointment.  For  the  whole  day 
she  concealed  herself,  emitting  an  occasional  cry, 
as  if  she  were  in  pain,  and  refusing  both  water  and 

It  is  needless  to  tell  you  how  profound  an  im- 
pression these  incidents  produced  upon  our  minds, 
and  with  what  affection  and  tenderness  we  ever 
afterward  regarded  her. 

While  on  the  subject  of  dogs,  I  cannot  refrain 
from  telling  you  another  story,  which  has  an  amus- 
ing side  to  it. 

In  Cairo  my  children  had  a  poodle  of  which  they 
were  very  fond,  as  it  was  the  most  docile  and  harm- 
less thing  imaginable.  As  the  Egyptians  have  a 
great  aversion  to  these  animals — regarding  them 
as  unclean  and  as  imparting  profanation  by  their 
touch — we  were  constantly  having  difficulties  about 
our  little  pet  which  finally  culminated  rather  seri- 
ously. One  day  a  Pasha  of  high  position  and 
great  pretensions  came  to  pay  me  a  visit,  and  find- 
ing the  door  open  he  entered  the  house  and  clapped 
his  hands,  according  to  the  eastern  custom,  to  an- 

54  A  doctor's  experiexces 

noiince  his  presence  and  to  summon  a  servant. 
Unluckily,  only  the  acute  ears  of  Aula  caught  the 
sound,  and  she  rushed  into  the  parlor  to  welcome 
the  visitor  with  friendh'  bark  and  kind  caresses,  as 
was  her  wont.  In  an  instant  the  whole  household 
was  startled  bv  a  noise  of  rushinor  feet  mino^led 
with  loud  cries  for  assistance,  uttered  alternately 
in  Arabic  and  in  English.  We  entered  the  room 
in  a  body,  and,  to  our  consternation,  found  the 
Pasha  mounted  upon  the  center-table  by  the  side 
of  the  lamp  and  in  the  midst  of  our  curiosities  of 
faience,  etc.,  frightened  nearly  to  death  and  shout- 
ing for  assistance,  while  the  poodle  was  coursing 
around  the  "treed"  dignitar}-,  barking  to  the  full- 
est capacity  of  her  vocal  organs,  evidently  de- 
lighted with  the  cordial  reception  which  she  had 
given  her  master's  guest. 

Although  I  had  coffee  served  and  overwhelmed 
his  excellency  with  expressions  of  regret  and  to- 
kens of  hospitality,  he  could  be  induced  to  remain 
but  a  few  moments,  and  took  his  departure,  filled 
with  apprehensions  on  account  of  the  dog  and  in- 
dignant with  me  because  I  had  rendered  such  a 
scene  possible  by  keeping  an  animal  which  all 
good  Mohammedans  regard  with  aversion  and  dis- 
gust. We  became  better  friends  afterward^  over 
the  couch  of  a  sick  child,  but  he  never  could  refer 
to  his  adventure  without  becoming  angry  and  lec- 
turing me  furiously  for  my  want  of  good  sense  and 
proper  tact  in  failing  to  respect  the  sentiments  and 
prejudices  of  a  people  with  whom  I  had  cast  my 

Although  he  had  spent  several  years  in  England 
and  spoke  the  language  of  that  country  fluently, 
he  had  never  abandoned  the  prejudices  of  his  race 
and  religion.  He  was  an  Arab  in  every  cell  and 
fiber  of  his  heart,  notwithstanding  his  association 


with  gentlemen  and  Christians,  and  without  re- 
gard to  the  thick  coat  of  civilized  polish  with 
which  he  had  besmeared  himself.  As  an  evidence 
of  this  I  have  only  to  tell  you  that  our  little  dog 
disappeared  on  tire  succeeding  day,  to  the  great 
sorrow  of  my  children,  and  I  have  every  reason  to 
believe  that  when  the  Pasha  left  the  house  he  com- 
manded the  '^Boab"  to  destroy  the  unoffending 
little  creature  at  the  earliest  possible  moment. 

As  I  passed  through  Washington  en  route  to 
Alexandria,  I  called  on  Mr.  Tyler,  who  was  then 
the  President  of  the  United  States,  having  become 
so  by  the  death  of  Greneral  Harrison.  The  Pi'esi- 
dent  received  me  kindly,  as  he  knew  my  parents 
well,  his  first  wife  having  been  a  Christian  and  a 
near  relative  of  my  father.  He  was  a  tall,  gaunt, 
^nd  ungainly  man,  with  a  long,  oval,  and  reced- 
ing forehead,  and  a  nose  of  the  Roman  type,  exag- 
gerated in  its  dimensions,  but  his  manners  were  of 
that  frank,  cordial.  Southern  kind  which  won  all 
hearts,  and  showed  the  intrinsic  kindness  of  the 
nature  which  inspired  them.  Only  a  short  time 
before  he  had  been  repudiated  by  the  Whig  party, 
and  having  no  following,  he  was,  as  he  told  me 
with  a  touch  of  sadness  in  his  tone,  'Hhe  best 
abused  man  in  the  country."  As  you  have  always 
been  something  of  a  politician,  I  am  sure  you  will 
recall  the  great  excitement  which  prevailed  in  con- 
sequence of  the  dispute  between  Mr.  Tyler  and  the 
Whig  party — led  by  Mr.  Clay — which  ensued  in 
consequence  of  the  refusal  of  the  President  to  ap- 
piove  the  bank  bills. 

After  the  most  memorable  political  campaign  ever 
known,  when  a  whole  people  got  drunk  with  ''  hard 
cider,"  and  the  magical  refrain  of  "gTippecanoe 
and  Tyler  too"  becamethe  ''national  anthem,"  and 
swelled  in  thunder  tones  throughout  an  infatuated 

56  A  doctor's  experiences 

country,  Cleneral  Harrison  and  Mr.  Tyler  were 
elected,  by  the  almost  unanimous  vote  of  the 
electoral  college,  to  the  respective  positions  of 
President  and  Vice-President  of  the  United  States. 
Their  inaguration  amid  universal  rejoicing  ;  then 
the  sudden  death  of  the  President,  with  the  genu- 
ine sorrow  it  produced  ;  and  the  establishment  of 
the  Vice-President  in  the  vacant  Presidential  chair, 
followed  each  other  in  such  rapid  succession  as  to 
appear  like  the  shifting  scenes  of  some  histrionic 
drama.  The  Whig  party  having  a  majority  in 
both  branches  of  Congress,  seemed  to  be  in  a  posi- 
tion to  realize  its  dream  of  governmental  policy^ 
and  to  perpetuate  its  power  indefinitely.  It  im- 
mediately proceeded,  consequently,  to  the  con- 
sideration of  a  bill  for  the  establishment  of  a  na- 
tional bank  with  almost  unlimited  powers,  and,  on 
the  28th  of  July,  1841,  it  was  sent  to  the  Presi- 
dent for  his  approval.  To  the  regret  of  his  politi- 
cal friends  and  the  ruin  of  his  party,  he  unhesi- 
tatingly returned  it  to  the  Senate,  announcing 
himself  as  being  ''conscientiously  opposed  on  con- 
stitutional grounds  "  to  the  creation  of  such  a 
bank  as  that  provided  for  in  the  bill  submitted  for 
his  signature.  Again  the  experiment  was  tried, 
and  another  bill  of  similar  import  was  passed  by 
Congress  and  sent  to  the  President,  but  the  result 
was  the  same  —he  peremtorily  vetoed  it  as  he  had 
done  its  predecessor.  Mr.  Clay,  yielding  to  his  im- 
perious temper,  and  persuaded  that  Mr.  Tyler  had 
betrayed  and  ruined  his  part}^,  attacked  him  with 
great  virulence,  bringing  to  bear  that  power  of 
sarcasm  in  which  no  man  was  his  superior,  and 
that  fury  of  denunciation  which,  like  the  light- 
ning's flash,  withered  and  blasted  wherever  it 
fell.  As  a  natural  consequence,  the  party  which 
worshiped  the    "great    Kentuckian  "  as  a  demi- 


God,  accepted  bis  conclusions,  and,  turning  upon 
the  man  it  had  recently  idolized,  sought  to  rend 
and  ruin  him.  In  order  to  appreciate  this  differ- 
ence between  Mr.  Tyler  and  the  Whig  party,  it  is 
necessary  to  place  yourself  in  his  position  and  to 
survey  the  field  from  his  standpoint. 

Up  to  the  hour  when  the  dispute  occurred  Mr. 
Tyler  bad  been  universally  regarded  as  the  very 
soul  of  honor  and  integrity.  My  father,  who  was 
reared  in  his  county,  and  had  known  him  from 
earliest  childhood,  told  me  that  there  never  lived  a 
purer  or  a  more  high-toned  man,  and  that  he  was 
just  the  one  to  submit  to  torture  or  to  death  for  the 
sake  of  that  which  he  believed  to  be  right.  It  is 
likewise  on  record — in  documents  written  and  pub- 
lished since  1819 — that  he  had  always  been  ''  con- 
scientiously opposed  on  constitutional  grounds  "  to 
a  national  bank,  while  Mr.  Webster  states  in  a 
letter  written  to  Mr.  Kitchen,  on  the  16th  day  of 
July,  1841,  that  'Hhe  opinions  of  these  gentle- 
men— Harrison  and  Tyler — were  generally  known 
on  all  political  subjects,  and  those  of  the  latter 
gentleman,  especially  on  the  bank  question,  were 
as  well  known  as  the  sentiments  of  any  public  man 
on  any  subject  whatever." 

It  is  also  true  that  he  did  not  seek  the  nomina- 
tion, and  made  no  pledge  in  connection  with  it, 
bnt  that  he  was  sought  for  and  was  nominated  be- 
cause of  his  availability — because  his  known  char- 
acter and  opinions  made  him  acceptable  to  the  peo- 
ple of  the  country,  and  were  calculated  to  advance 
the  interests  of  his  party. 

In  addition  to  this,  it  is  well  known  that,  until  his 
Dayton  speech,  which  w^as  delivered  subsequently 
to  his  nomination  and  some  time  after  the  canvass 
was  commenced,  G-eneral  Harrison  himself  was 
supposed  to  be  equally  opposed  to  a  national  bank, 


and  that,  even  in  that  speech,  he  admitted  his 
strong  leanings  against  such  an  institution,  and 
his  unwillingness  to  sanction  any  measure  propos- 
ing its  establishment  ''  unless  it  became  absolutely 
necessary  for  the  successful  management  of  the 
Government,  and  was  chartered  with  the  most 
limited  powers  possible." 

Let  me  ask,  then,  if  it  was  just  and  fair  to  de- 
nounce Mr.  Tyler  as  a  traitor  to  his  party  because, 
when  called  upon  to  approve  or  disapprove  of  a 
measure  submitted  to  him  by  Congress,  he  ad- 
hered to  the  conviction  of  a  lifetime,  differed  with 
his  friends  in  regard  to  a  measure  wdiich  had  never 
been  regarded  as  a  test  of  party  fealty,  and,  in- 
stead of  followino'  the  suf^^orestions  of  ambition  or 
the  dictates  of  friendship,  or  the  requirements  of  a 
narrow  partisanship,  he  chose  to  do  that  which  he 
considered  right,  consistent,  and  most  beneficial  to 
the  wdiole  country  ? 

It  was  not  reserved  for  posterity  to  answer  this 
question  ;  the  reply  came  before  his  career  was 
ended  ;  and  in  the  homage  of  the  people  of  the 
entire  South  and  the  unsought  honors  of  his  native 
State,  he  found  that  recompense  for  which  his 
wounded  but  still  proud  and  conscientious  spirit 
had  siofhed  so  long;  and  so  richlv  merited. 

I  met  him  in  Ricbmond  wdien,  as  a  member  of 
the  Confederate  Congress,  he  was  regarded  with  a 
degree  of  confidence,  respect,  and  veneration  which 
could  not  have  been  otherwise  than  gratifying  to 
a  man  of  his  chivalrous  and  sensitive  nature — to 
one  who  had  been  called  to  endure  so  much  of 
obloquy,  outrage,  and  persecution  for  conscience 
sake,  and  in  the  defense  of  what  he  believed  to  be 
the  highest  interests  of  his  country. 

It  was  a  source  of  infinite  satisfaction  to  him  to 
find  that,  wdien  the  other  members  of  his  Cabinet 


deserted  him,  Mr.  Webster  remained   faithfully  at 
his  post. 

Although  a  Whig  of  '^the  strictest  sect,"  and 
an  ardent  advocate  of  a  national  bank — as  he  ex- 
pressly declared  in  his  famous  letter  to  the  Na- 
tional Intelligencer  of  the  13th  of  September,  1841 — 
he  had  the  good  sense  to  appreciate  the  consist- 
ency of  Mr.  Tyler's  course,  and  the  patriotism  to 
sustain  him  in  the  face  of  as  fearful  a  tide  of  per 
secution  as  it  ever  fell  to  the  lot  of  a  statesman  to 
meet  and  stem.  Even  the  reputation  which  the 
*'  Sage  of  Marshfield  "  had  established  for  sagacity, 
judgment,  probity,  and  love  of  country  did  not 
shield  him  against  the  wrath  of  the  disappointed 
politicians  who  sought  to  sacrifice  him,  covered 
with  honors  and  revered  by  the  whole  world  as  he 
was,  in  order  that  they  might  reach  and  destroy 
the  President.  Confiding,  however,  in  the  sin- 
cerity of  his  own  opinions,  and  giving  Mr.  Tyler 
the  fullest  credit  for  his  conscientious  convictions, 
he  stood  like  a  "stone-wall"  between  the  per- 
secuted and  his  persecutors,  and  threw  the  weight 
of  his  great  name  and  influence  upon  the  side  of 
the  administration.  The  history  of  the  nation 
contains  no  prouder  or  more  thrilling  page  than 
that  upon  which  is  recounted  the  story  of  the  mu- 
tual sacrifices  of  these  two  great  men  upon  the 
altar  of  their  country.  Victims  though  they  were  of 
vindictive  personal  and.  political  assaults,  the  names 
of  the  President  and  Mr.  Webster  will  descend  to 
posterity  associated  with  one  of  the  most  brilliant 
administrations  which  the  country  has  known.  Mr, 
Tyler  presented  me  to  Miss  Gardner,  a  young  and 
beautiful  woman  to  whom  lie  was  subsequently 
married,  and  who,  notwithstanding  their  disparity 
of  years,  bore  him  several  children,  and  made  him 
an    excellent  wife.     The  father   of  this   ladv  was 

60  A  doctor's  experiences 

then  the  guest  of  the  President,  and  was  having  a 
delightful  time  in  Washington  society,  little  dream- 
ing of  the  sad  fate  which  awaited  him. 

The  Princeton,  a  vessel  of  war  constructed  by 
Commodore  Stockton,  and  carrying  the  heaviest 
piece  of  ordnance  that  had  been  seen  at  that 
day,  came  up  the  Potomac  and  cast  anchor 
opposite  Alexandria.  Accompanied  by  a  number 
oF  school-mates  I  visited  her,  and  was  shown 
her  beautiful  cabins,  her  powerful  engines,  and 
her  wonderful  gun,  which  was  fired  for  our 
amusement  by  the  officer  in  charge.  On  the  suc- 
ceeding day  I  heard  a  tremendous  report  from  the 
river  below  Alexandria,  which  I  knew  came  from 
the  great  gun  of  the  Princeton.  Judge  of  my  horror 
wdien  I  learned  that  the  report  had  been  caused  by 
the  bursting  of  this  huge  cannon,  and  that  among 
the  killed  were  Dr.  Gardner,  Judge  Upshur,  of  the 
Cabinet,  Commodore  Kennon,  and  several  other  dis- 
tinguished persons.  The  President  made  a  narrow 
escape,  for,  though  the  gun  was  to  be  fired  in  his 
special  honor,  some  insignificant  circumstance 
called  him  to  the  cabin  only  a  moment  before  the 
accident  occurred.  He  was  always  called  by  his 
friends  "  lucky  John  Tyler/'  because  throughout 
his  entire  life  the  rarest  pieces  of  good  fortune 
and  the  strangest  escapes  from  accident  occurred 
to  him.  My  father  told  me  that  he  once  heard  Mr. 
Stevenson,  of  Virginia — who  so  long  represented 
the  United  States  at  the  Court  of  St.  James,  and 
was  an  unusually  handsome  man — twit  Mr.  Tyler, 
in  the  outset  of  his  career,  on  what  he  called  the 
"  sublimest  gift  of  ugliness,  and  the  greatest  run 
of  luck''  that  ever  a  man  had.  "Yes,"  said 
Mr.  Tyler,  "  the  Lord  has  dealt  lavishly  with  me 
in  these  respects ;  but,  Stevenson,  had  he  made  me 
as  good  looking  as  you  are,  I  should  be  President 


of  tbe  United  States."  little   dreaming   what    his 
luck  was  really  to  he  in  the  end. 

The  thing  called  luck  is  a  curious  phenomenon. 
It  is  true  that,  as  a  general  rule,  ^'Providence  is 
on  the  side  of  the  heaviest  artillery/'  and  that 
"every  man  is  the  architect  of  his  own  fortune," 
but,  apart  from  all  this,  some  men  are  constantly  sub- 
ject to  strange  freaks  both  of  good  and  of  bad  fortune, 
entirely  independent  of  their  merits  or  defects. 
History  is  filled  with  instances  illustrative  of  this 
fact,  and  the  observation  of  every  one  confirms  it. 
The  prejudice  against  Friday  as  an  unlucky  day 
is,  as  you  may  know,  almost  universal  in  Christian 
countries,  and  I  found  that  the  Mohammedans  are 
equally  prejudiced  against  Wednesday,  though  no 
authority  exists  for  it  in  the  Koran.  The  old 
adage  that  ''it  is  better  to  be  born  lucky  than  rich," 
has  a  great  deal  of  wisdom  in  it,  for  to  the  lucky 
•  man  anything  is  possible.  I  have,  for  instance, 
two  friends — one  is  passionately  fond  of  racing, 
and,  without  knowing  anything  about  horses  or 
taking  the  trouble  to  inform  himself,  he  scarcely 
ever  makes  a  bet  without  winning  it  ;  while  the 
other  would  be  sure  to  lose  Mr.  Mackay's  fortune 
to-morrow  if  it  were  given  him  to-day,  and  by  no 
apparent  fault  of  his  own. 

Whatever  has  come  to  me,  whether  of  good  or 
evil,  has  come  with  a  "rush."  My  pathway  has 
either  been  canopied  with  the  fairest  flowers  or 
paved  with  the  sharpest  thorns  ;  my  portion  has 
either  been  of  the  brightness  of  heaven  or  of  the 
blackness  of  hell.  My  life  has  been  the  embodi- 
ment of  all  that  can  be  conceived  of  the  improbable, 
the  unexpected,  and  the  extreme^  alike  as  regards 
hope  and  disappointment,  prosperity  and  adversity, 
praise  and  censure,  and  all  the  varied  conditions 
which  make  up  the  sum  and  substance  of  human 

62  A  doctor's  experiences 

I  well  remember  how  forlorn  and  miserable  was 
my  first  day  at  school.  The  solemn  aspect  of  the 
principal,  the  stern  bearino;  of  the  masters,  and 
the  subdued  manner  of  the  boys  were  like  a  'new 
revelation"  to  me,  and  I  gazed  mechanically  upon 
my  books  without  the  ability  to  comprehend  a 
word  of  them,  thinking  of  home,  and  counting  the 
days  which  must  elapse  before  I  should  see  it 

At  niufht  a  bed  was  assio:ned  to  me  in  a  long;  dor- 
mitoi'y  where  more  than  a  dozen  boys  slept,  and 
in  sheer  bashfulness  I  waited  until  the  lights  had 
been  extinguished  before  I  began  to  undress  ray- 
self.  Profound  silence  reigned  around,  and  I  said 
my  prayers  with  shivering  lips  and  crept  into  bed, 
musing  on  my  mother's  tearful  face  and  old  Byron's 
pleading  gaze  on  the  evening  of  my  departure.  In 
a  moment  I  found  myself  enveloped  in  sheets  and 
blankets  upon  the  floor,  and  I  discovered  that  the 
sacking  had  been  carefully  detached  in  order  that 
this  result  might  be  accomplished  with  certainty 
and  facilitv.  One  loud  roar  of  lauo'hter  resounded 
through  the  chamber,  and  a  dozen  boys  leaped  from 
their  beds  and  gathered  around  me,  offering  assist- 
ance and  pretending  to  sympathize  with  ixiy  mis- 
fortune, but  really  amused  at  my  struggles  to  ex- 
tricate myself,  and  at  the  strong  terms  in  which  I 
gave  expression  to  my  indignation.  As  it  was  im- 
possible to  rearrange  the  bed,  I  made  a  pallet  upon 
the  floor  and  slept  as  well  as  could  be  expected 
until  the  morning,  having  remarked  to  the  boys  as 
they  returned  to  their  couches,  ''w^e  will  see  about 
this  to-morrow."  The  bell  rang  at  6  a.  m.,  and 
we  hurried  to  prayers,  and  afterward  gathered  in 
the  "wash  room"  to  prepare  for  breakfast.  So 
soon  as  the  door  was  closed  I  said  to  my  compan- 
ions of  the  dormitory  :    "Well,  boys,  the  time  has 


come  for  settling  the  affair  of  last  night,  and  be- 
fore I  have  eaten  my  breakfast  I  intend  to  trash 
the  rascal  who  played  the  trick  on  me."  They 
hooted  at  me ;  they  declared  themselves  equally 
guilty ;  they  pronounced  me  a  fool  for  wanting  to 
fight  over  '-'a  little  fun;"  and  they  informed  me 
that  it  w^as  the  "  rule  of  the  school"  to  treat  every 
new  comer  in  that  way.  My  blood  was  up,  how- 
ever, and  I  would  listen  to  no  explanation,  for  I 
knew  that  if  I  failed  to  resent  this  indignity  a  dozen 
more  would  be  attempted.  "No,"  said  I,  "you 
can't  get  out  of  it  in  that  way,  and  if  the  boy  who 
did  it  will  have  the  courage  to  say  so,  I  shall  whip 
him  or  he  shall  whip  me." 

A  blue-eyed,  pleasant-looking  fellow  about  my 
own  age  then  walked  forward  and  said:  "  If  you 
will  be  a  fool  and  fight  I  am  your  man,  for  I  un- 
fastened the  sacking  and  let  you  down." 

With  tliat  we  "pitched  in,"  and  though  he 
gave  me  a  blow  on  the  nose  which  made  me  "  see 
stars"  for  an  instant,  I  soon  had  him  on  the  floor 
and  at  my  mercy,  for  I  was  possessed  of  great 
physical  strength  for  one  of  my  years.  At  this 
juncture  in  rushed  Tom,  the  negro  waiter,  and  in 
a  moment  separated  us,  saying  :  "  Is  you  not 
shamed  of  yourselfs  to  be  fitin  here  just  arter  a 
sayin  un  your  prayers,  and  brekass  is  a  waitin, 
and  de  coffee  is  gittin  cold  in  de  bargin.  Shake 
hands  and  make  it  up,  or  I'll  be  for  tellin  Mass 
George — the  principal — sure  as  preachin,  I  will." 

So  we  shook  hands  and  became  friends,  and  re- 
mained such  until  death  put  an  end  to  his  brilliant 
career,  more  than  thirty  years  afterward.  This  boy 
was  George  Otis,  whose  great  work  in  connection 
with  the  establishmentof  tlie  Army  Medical  Museum 
and  the  publication  of  the  "Surgical  History  of  the 
War"  is  appreciated  throughout  the  civilized  world, 

64  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  whose  high  character  and  amiable  disposition 
earned  for  him  the  friendship  and  respect  of  all 
who  were  brought  in  contact  with  him.  It  is  true 
that  circumstances  placed  us  on  opposite  sides  dur- 
ing the  war,  but  nothing  ever  interrupted  the  cur- 
rent of  the  warm  attachment  which  was  established 
between  us  on  that  cold  morning  in  the  wash-room 
at  Clarens  under  Tom's  auspices,  and  I  mourned 
his  death  as  if  he  had  been  one  of  my  own  house- 
hold. No  better  man  ever  lived,  and  the  service 
which  he  has  rendered  to  science  and  to  humanity 
will  stand  as  a  proud  and  enduring  monument  to 
his  memory  long  after  the  generation  that  knew 
him  has  passed  away  forever. 

This  encounter  produced  a  profound  sensation 
among  the  boys,  and  when  I  accepted  a  challenge 
for  a  wrestling  match  with  the  bully  of  the  school, 
and  succeeded  in  "  throwing  him,  the  best  two  out 
of  three,"  my  prowess  was  fully  acknowledged, 
and  I  had  no  trouble  from  that  time  forward. 

My  father,  who  was  less  of  a  practical  Christian 
in  those  days  than  in  later  life,  charged  me  when 
I  was  leaving  home  always  to  fight  when  in  a  diffi- 
culty, adding  that  it  was  the  surest  means  of  Avin- 
ning  the  friendship  of  an  honorable  adversary,  and 
of  securing  an  exemption  from  future  indignities. 

At  any  rate  it  pr(ived  a  trump  card  m  this  in- 
stance, for  it  saved  me  from  a  course  of  hazing  and 
made  me  the  most  popular  boy  in  the  school. 

It  was,  indeed,  a  fortunate  circumstance — as  I 
soon  discovered,  and  with  much  trepidation — that  the 
story  of  this  encounter  did  not  reach  the  ears  of  the 
principal,  for  he  would  have  regarded  me  in  the 
light  of  an  untamed  savage,  unfit  to  associate  with 
those  over  whose  '-conversion"  he  had  labored  so 
faithfully,  and  I  should  have  been  sent  home  in  dis- 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

The  narration  of  this  incident  naturally  suggests 
the  subject  of  those  personal  affairs,  and  that  class  of 
so-called  fire-eaters  for  which  the  South  was  once 
notorious.  I  have  in  my  mind's  eye  as  I  look  back 
to  ante  bellum  times  a  number  of  persons,  the  prin- 
cipal object  of  whose  existence  seemed  to  be  per- 
sonal difHculties,  and  whose  chief  delight  was  to 
think  and  to  talk  of  nothing  but  fighting. 

They  had  been  '^principals"  in  several  duels, 
they  had  been  engaged  in  street  fights  innumerable, 
they  had  devoted  themselves  exclusively  to  the 
-study  of  the  ''code  of  honor,"  and  it  was  quite 
impossible  to  have  business  affairs  of  friendly  re- 
lations with  them  without  incurring  the  hazard  of 
being  held  responsible  or  called  out  upon  the  most 
trivial  pretext.  When  hostilities  threatened  they 
iDecame  more  excited  and  bellicose  than  ever,  and 
they  raved  so  violently  of  the  slaughter  which  they 
proposed  to  make  in  the  ranks  of  the  enenw  that 
one  could  not  help  trembling  as  much  for  the  modi- 
cum of  intellect  which  Heaven  had  given  them  as 
for  the  foe  which  they  so  longed  to  meet  upon  the 
battle-field.  They  insulted  all  who  talked  of  peace 
and  compromise  ;  they  wore  huge  "cockades"  upon 
their  hats  and  "sprigs  of  palmetto"  in  their 
button-holes ;  and  they  raised  companies  of  soldiers, 
abused  their  neighbors  into  enlisting,  and  went  forth 

66  A  doctor's  experiences 

to  the  fight  with  eyes  blurred  by  visions  of  the  blood 
which  was  to  flow  at  their  bidding,  and  brains  dazed 
by  calculations  of  the  graves  which  they  w^ere  ta 
fill  with  victims. 

But  alas  for  the  vanity  of  human  calculations  f 
The  places  which  knew  them  once — the  bar-rooms 
and  the  street-corners  of  their  native  towns — soon 
knew  them  again.  It  did  not  take  more  than  a 
skirmish  or  two  to  teach  them  that  they  had  mis- 
taken their  vocation ;  they  soon  learned  that  they 
had  "  no  stomachs  for  the  fight ;"  and  they  speedily 
made  the  demonstration  complete  that  those  to 
whom  personal  encounters  were  a  pastime  the  field 
of  battle' had  no  attractions,  but,  on  the  contrary, 
a  power  of  repulsion  which  sent  them  to  their  homes 
wiser  men  and  better  citizens. 

It  is  happily  true  that  with  the  "  surrender"  the 
entire  race  of  professional  duelists  and  fire-eaters 
disappeared  from  the  face  of  the  earth,  and  that 
the  code  of  honor  has  been  appealed  to  only  under 
exceptional  circumstances — in  such  emergencies  as 
must  occasionally  present  themselves  everywhere 
and  have  no  identification  with  a  special  section. 

There  is  one  thing  which  I  must  say,  and  to  which 
I  am  sure  you  will  agree,  notwithstanding  your 
amiable  character  and  your  respect*  for  the  laws, 
the  practice  of  dueling  is  not  per  se  an  unmixed 
evil.  The  certainty  that  one  is  to  be  held  to  the 
strictest  responsibility  for  words  and  actions  exercises 
some  degree  of  restraint  upon  individuals  and  ipso 
facto  protects  societ}^  against  evils  which  cannot 
otherwise  be  reached  and  punished.  In  France, 
where  this  responsibility  amounts  practically  to 
nothing — for  a  blow  is  punisbed,  no  matter  what 
may  have  been  the  provocation,  and  duels  are  so 
arranged  as  usually  to  be  bloodless — licentiousness 
under  every  conceivable  guise  is  rampant ;  w^hile 


neither  position  nor  character  nor  sanctity  of  the 
domestic  circle  is  a  safeguard  against  the  shaft  of 
malice  or  the  breath  of  slander. 

In  my  early  days  a  gentleman  in  the  South  could 
no  more  fail  to  send  or  to  accept  a  challenge,  when 
circumstances  justified  it,  than  he  could  refuse  to 
tell  the  truth  under  oath  ;  and  I  have  had  to  do 
both  in  my  time,  though  1  say  it  now  with  regret 
and  repentance.  One  of  these  instances  I  must  re- 
late, because  of  its  singular  conclusion. 

Not  long  after  I  had  commenced  the  practice  of 
medicine,  John  Hall,  the  negro-trader,  requested 
me  to  accompany  him  to  a  neighboring  village  to 
visit  one  of  his  slaves  who  was  said  to  be  very  sick 
there.  We  took  the  steamer — the  one  which  ran 
between  the  two  places  three  times  weekly,  and 
remained  only  half  an  hour  at  the  latter — and 
went  to  our  point  of  destination.  When  we  reached 
the  house  of  the  sick  man  we  found  that  the  doc- 
tor in  regular  attendance  was  out  of  town,  and 
that  a  "consultation"  between  him  and  myself 
was,  therefore,  impossible.  As  we  had  but  half  an 
hour  to  remain  before  the  departure  of  the  boat, 
and  as  the  master  was  naturally  anxious  about  his 
slave,  for  he  was  worth  at  least  $1,200  in  the  mar- 
ket, he  importuned  me  to  see  him,  and  I  agreed  to 
do  so  on  the  following  conditions,  viz :  that  I 
should  not  be  called  upon  to  express  an  opinion 
respecting  the  treatment  which  had  been  insti- 
tuted ;  that  I  should  only  give,  in  general  terms, 
an  opinion  as  to  the  chances  of  his  recovery,  and 
that  I  should  leave  a  sealed  note  for  the  physician 
explaining  the  circumstances  under  which  I  had 
seen  the  patient,  and  giving  him  my  views  of  the 
case.  These  conditions  were  accepted,  and  I  saw 
th<3  patient,  told  his  master  that  he  was  desper- 
ately ill,  and  left  a  sealed  note  for  the  doctor,  ex- 

68  A  doctor's  experiences 

pressing  my  views  of  the  case,  and  adding  thai  I 
should  return  on  the  following  Wednesday,  when 
I  hoped  to  meet  him  in  consultation.  He  did  not 
meet  me,  but  left  a  message  to  tlie  effect  that  I  had 
treated  him  unfairly  by  seeing  the  case  in  his  ab- 
sence, that  I  had  mistaken  the  side  upon  which  the 
pneumonia  existed,  and  that  he,  consequently,  de- 
clined the  consultation.  I  returned  home  imme- 
diately, and,  on  the  following  morning  at  an  early 
hour,  1  sent  a  friend  in  a  row-boat  to  his  place  of 
residence,  bearing  a  challenge  to  be  delivered  in 
the  event  of  his  refusing  to  apologize  for  his  con- 

On  the  succeeding  day  my  friend  returned,  bring- 
ing with  him  an  apology  duly  signed  and  attested, 
and  I  thought  no  more  of  the  matter  until  it  was 
brought  to  my  attention  in  a  peculiar  manner, 
some  years  afterward. 

During  the  war  I  was  ordered  to  North  Carolina 
and  made  a  member  of  a  board  duly  instructed  to 
examine  all  medical  officers  connected  with  the  reg- 
iments then  serving  in  that  State  as  well  as  such 
others  as  might  apply  for  admission  to  the  medical 
staff  of  the  army.  We  had  been  at  work  only  a 
day  or  two,  when  the  doctor  with  whom  I  had  had 
this  difficulty  presented  himself  for  examination, 
his  papers  showing  that  he  was  already  attached  to 
a  regiment  in  the  field.  He  was  abashed  when  he 
saw  me,  but  I  advanced  and  shook  hands  with  him, 
which  seemed  to  put  him  more  at  his  ease.  In  a 
brief  conversation  with  my  colleagues  I  obtained 
permission  to  examine  him  on  behalf  of  the  board, 
and  I  began  by  propounding  the  following  question  : 
"  What  is  pneumonia  and  what  are  the  signs  by 
which  its  presence  is  indicated?"  He  gave  me  a 
look  of  utter  astonishment,  but  made  no  answer,  nor 
could  he  have  given  an  intelligent  one  had  his  soul's 


salvation  Leen  at  stake,  and  he  stood  confused  and 
shaking  in  every  limb,  the  picture  of  utter  dismay. 
I  never  felt  so  keenly  for  any  one  in  my  life,  and  I 
was  utterly  disgusted  with  myself  for  having  asked 
the  question  under  the  circumstances.  I  walked 
up  to  him  and  said  in  an  undertone:  "Doctor, 
walk  into  the  ante-room  and  compose  yourself  a 
little.  I  am  deeply  pained  at  having  caused  you 
so  much  annoyance."  So  soon  as  he  left  the  room 
I  said  to  my  colleagues :  ' '  This  is  one  of  the  ablest 
]3ractitioners  in  North  Carolina.  I  know  him  well 
and  he  knows  as  much  about  medicine  as  we  do, 
but  he  is  too  much  confused  to  answer  a  question. 
I  propose  that  we  pass  him  on  his  standing  as  a 
physician  without  an  examination."  They  as- 
sented, and  I  called  him  into  the  room  again  and 
said  to  him:  ''Doctor,  we  have  considered  your 
case,  and,  in  view  of  your  embarrassment,  we  have 
concluded  to  pass  you  without  examination  upon 
your  known  standing  in  the  profession,  fully  as- 
sured that  you  know  as  much  about  medicine  as 
we  do."  The  tears  came  into  his  eyes,  and  "I 
thank  you,  gentlemen/'  w^ere  tlie  only  words  that 
he  could  command  on  the  occasion.  When  the 
board  adjourned  I  found  him  waiting  without ;  and 
having  taken  me  apart,  he  said:  "Dr.  Warren,  I 
once  treated  you  like  a  brute,  and  you  have  re- 
venged yourself  by  treating  me  like  a  gentleman. 
While  I  live  you  will  have  a  warm  friend  ready  to 
die  for  you."  With  that  we  parted,  never  to  meet 

I  can  but  add  in  this  connection  that  the  war 
made  brave  men  of  those  who  had  been  considered 
cowards  previously.  I  well  remember  a  young 
man,  named  Bob  Johnson,  who  had  been  noted 
during  his  entire  life  for  his  timidity  and  his 
weakness  of  character.     He  was  a  good-hearted  fel- 

70  A  doctor's  experiences 

low,  and  as  strong  as  a  giant  physically,  but  he 
invariably  ''showed  the  white  feather"  in  the  hour 
of  trial  ;  and  when  it  was  said  of  any  one  in  that 
community,  "He  is  as  great  a  coward  as  Bob  John- 
son," it  was  considered  that  depreciation  could  not 
go  farther.  When  every  one  else  volunteered,  Bob 
followed  their  example — to  the  amusement  of  the 
whole  town — and  went  off  with  Captain  Skinner's 
company  to  join  the  1st  North  Carolina  Regiment. 
At  the  conclusion  of  the  war  only  ten  of  the  one 
hundred  men  who  originally  composed  that  com- 
pany returned  to  their  homes,  and  Bob  was  among 
them,  his  body  covered  with  scars,  and  carrying 
in  his  pocket  a  commission  as  "First  Sergeant  of 
Company  A,  1st  North  Carolina  Regiment."  with 
a  certificate  from  his  colonel^  stating  that  he  had 
been  promoted  for  distinguished  bravery  on  many 
battle-fields."  When  I  questioned  him  in  regard 
to  his  experience  as  a  soldier,  he  told  me  that  for 
the  first  year  he  was  "frightened  nearly  to  death 
whenever  he  heard  a  gun  fired,  but  that  afterward 
he  "got  used  to  the  racket  and  came  rather  to  like 

Returning  to  the  school  from  which  I  have 
strolled  into  this  long  digression,  I  must  tell  you 
that  it  was  what  is  termed  a  "Church  School" — an 
institution  in  which  religious  instruction  was  given 
the  most  prominent  place  in  the  curriculum.  The 
principal  was  a  retired  Episcopal  minister^  and 
though  as  pure  and  good  a  man  as  ever  lived,  he 
was  morbid  on  the  subject  of  "converting"  the 
boys  under  his  charge.  With  the  best  possible  in- 
tentions, he  made  the  Bible  and  the  church  so  dis- 
agreeable and  irksome  as  to  render  them  absolutely 
obnoxious  to  us. 

Besides,  there  was  a  theological  seminary  in 
the  immediate  neighborhood,  the  students  of  which 



regarded  us  as  furnishing  the  subjects  on  which  to 
exercise  and  perfect  their  faculty  for  saving  souls — 
just  as  the  Internes  of  hospitals  use  the  sick  and 
wounded  under  their  charge  to  perfect  their  studies 
and  to  prepare  themselves  for  their  prospective 
professional  work.  As  their  religion  was  that 
gloomy  and  revolting  kind  which  bases  its  exist- 
-ence  upon  the  terrors  of  the  law,  breathes  only  an. 
atmosphere  of  fire  and  damnation,  and  makes  its 
professors  the  embodiment  of  misery  and  despond- 
ency, you  can  well  imagine  what  were  the  impres- 
sions made  upon  our  youthful  minds  in  regard  to 
this  vital  subject.  We  were  taught  that  the 
^slightest  fun  was  a  dreadful  offense,  an  innocent  jest 
a  veritable  profanation,  a  hearty  laugh  a  real 
crime,  and  the  slightest  sigh  or  sign  of  weariness 
in  the  House  of  God — never  mind  how  many  times 
we  were  forced  to  enter  or  however  long  and  boring 
the  sermon  might  be — the  "un])ardonable  sin"  for 
which  the  bottomless  pit  had  been  especially  created 
and  was  held  in  certain  reserve. 

Kach  seminarian  selected  some  hapless  boy,  and 
assumed,  as  it  were,  the  responsibility  of  his  salva- 
tion, praying  over  him,  preaching  to  him,  deluging 
him  with  '^tracts,"  and  worrying  the  poor  fellow 
out  of  his  very  life  in  the  effort  to  ''turn  him  from 
the  error  of  his  ways"  and  "to  save  his  soul 
alive,"  etc. 

It  fell  to  my  lot  to  be  appropriated  by  a  gentle- 
man somewhat  advanced  in  years,  as  innocent  as  a 
babe,  a  martyr  to  chronic  dyspepsia,  and  the  type 
of  a  religion  blacker  than  the  hinges  of  Hades,  and 
as  cheerless  as  the  tomb  of  a  mummy.  He  was  a 
pious  man  as  he  understood  the  term,  but  the  very 
last  one  for  the  work  for  which  he  believed  himself 
chosen.  Some  one  else  had  been  called  when  he 
responded,  and  his   connection  with   the   ministry 

72  A  doctor's  experiences 

was  emphatically  a  case  of  mistaken  identity.  He 
may  have  found  a  resting  place  in  Heaven,  for  he 
needed  and  deserved  repose ;  but  had  he  labored 
eternally  in  his  Master's  vineyard  his  work  would 
have  had  nothing  to  show  for  itself  when  the  day 
of  reckoning  arrived.  He  was  totally  unfitted  for 
his  mission — for  the  high  and  holy  calling  to  which 
he  had  consecrated  his  life — because  of  the  inher- 
ent weakness  of  his  physical  organism  and  the  mor- 
bid mental  condition  which  long  years  of  disease^ 
and  insomnia  had  developed  ;  but,  unconscious  of 
his  imperfections,  he  struggled  bravely  to  prepare 
for  the  ministry,  and  deluding  himself  with  dreams 
of  the  harvest  of  human  souls  which  awaited  his 
reaping,  and  the  ''crown  of  glory"  with  which  his 
labors  were  to  be  rewarded  in  the  end. 

He  certainly  labored  faithfully  to  keep  my  "feet 
in  the  right  path,"  and  despite  my  abhorrence  of  his 
religion,  and  the  annoyance  of  his  constant  surveil- 
lance, I  came  to  like  the  old  man  ;  and  when  our 
intimacy  terminated  I  missed  him  greatly,  and 
often  sighed  for  his  companionship,  his  eternal 
prayers,  and  tuneless  hymns,  to  the  contrary  not- 

As  was  his  habit,  he  accompanied  me  on  one  of 
my  Saturday  excursions  to  Washington,  ostensibly 
to  see  the  sights  of  that  great  city,  but  really  to 
keep  me  out  of  the  snares  which  were  spread  for 
the  unwary,  and  on  our  return  he  insisted  that  I 
should  spend  the  night  with  him  at  the  seminary 
■ — assured,  as  he  said,  that  the  principal  would  be 
content  to  have  me  do  so. 

I  yielded  to  his  entreaties  with  reluctance,  be- 
cause I  was  dreadfully  fatigued  and  desired  to  re- 
tire without  unnecessary  delay  either  in  scriptural 
reading  or  in  prayer  making. 

After  a  long  grace  and  a  poor  sujiper  we  went 


up  to  his  room,  where  he  proposed  prayers  as  a  pre- 
liminary to  retiring  for  the  night.  We  knelt  down 
reverently,  and  after  reading  some  time  from  the 
prayer  book,  he  started  off  upon  an  extemporaneous 
piayer,  which  he  began  with  some  excellent  advice 
to  the  Good  Lord  respectins:  the  fall  of  Adam,  and 
ended — when  and  where  it  is  impossible  for  me  to 
say,  as,  being  completely  overcome  by  fatigue,  I 
fell  asleep.  How  long  I  slept  I  have  no  means  of 
determining.  All  I  know  is  that  after  a  while 
consciousness  returned,  and  I  found  myself  still 
upon  my  knees,  the  candle  flickering  in  its  socket, 
and  my  clerical  friend  in  bed  snoring  loudly, 
''tired  nature's  sweet  restorer,  balmy  sleep"  hav- 
ing overtaken  him  as  he  waited  for  the  conclusion 
of  my  supposed  devotions.  I  crept  stealthily  to 
bed,  and  when  I  awakened  on  the  succeeding  morn- 
ing, the  good  old  man  was  standing  at  my  bedside 
with  upturned  eyes  and  lifted  arms,  "thanking 
God,''  as  he  said,  "for  the  answer  which  had  come 
to  his  prayers,  as  manifested  in  the  occurrence  of 
the  previous  night,  when  a  Christian  hoy  had  found 
the  strength  to  continue  his  prayers  when  he,  a 
Christian  man,  had  been  compelled  to  give  up  from 
physical  exhaustion,  and  retire  to  his  bed  and  sleep. 
I  made  no  comment,  but  dressed  hurriedly,  and  after 
listening  to'  a  'long  prayer  from  the  theologian — 
which  came  near  putting  me  to  sleep  again — bade 
adieu  to  my  delighted  host  and  returned  to  school. 
On  the  succeeding  day  the  principal  sent  for  me, 
told  me  of  the  flattering  terms  in  which  the  semi- 
narian had  spoken  of  my  good  conduct  and  great 
piety;  gave  me  permission  to  "pass  bounds"  at 
discretion;  off'ered  his  private  study  for  my  "daily 
devotions;"  and  from  that  time  forward  treated 
me  v^^ith  pre-eminent  respect  and  consideration.  I 
suppose  it  was  my  duty  to  explain,  but  these  good 

*74  A    doctor's    EXPERIENCi^S 

Christians  were  made  so  happy  at  this  practical 
proof  of  the  success  of  their  labors,  and  I  was  re- 
lieved from  such  an  amount  of  persecution  that  I 
determined  to  preserve  a  judicious  silence,  and  to 
let  things  take  their  natural  course. 

I  saw' but  little  of  my  friend,  the  seminarian, 
after  this  incident,  although  he  continued  to  send 
''tracts"  and  to  write  letters — so  as  to  confirm 
and  strengthen  my  faith,  as  he  expressed  it — for, 
thinking  his  work  completed  so  far  as  I  w^as  con- 
cerned, he  devoted  his  time  and  talents  to  the  con- 
version of  another  boy,  and  left  me  to  my  devotions. 

Was  this  an  instance  of  the  luck  to  wdiich  I  have 
referred,  or  was  it  a  Providential  interposition? 
Of  one  thing  I  am  sure  in  this  connection:  had 
these  persecutions  continued  they  would  have  com- 
pletely destroyed  the  seeds  of  religion  which  my 
mother  had  sowm  so  carefully  in  my  heart  and  left 
me  utterly  and  hopelessly  without  faith  of  any  de- 
scription. As  it  was,  they  were  terribly  blighted 
and  it  required  many  a  long  year  of  faithful  nurs- 
ing by  a  tender  and  loving  hand  to  revivify  them. 

Let  me  ask  you,  my  dear  Doctor,  bef  )re  proceed- 
ing with  this  history,  how  it  is  that  such  radical 
mistakes  are  made  in  the  choice  of  professions? 
Take  the  ministry,  for  instance.  Is  there  one 
preacher  in  a  thousand  wdio  has  any  special  fitness 
for  his  mission — who. was  made  for  the  pulpit  ?  Is 
it  not  only  in  exceptional  instances  that  one  is  to  be 
found  who  is  anything  more  than  a  stumbling  block 
in  the  path  of  humanity,  or  wdio  does  more  than 
mechanically  and  monotonously  point  out  the  right 
path  to  sinners  ?  How  many  of  the  clergy  can  you 
name  who  in  daily  walk  or  in  the  discharge  of  their 
sacred  trust  are  veritable  exemplars  of  the  creed 
w^hich  they  pretend  to  preach,  and  real  followers  of 
the  Divinity  whom  they  profess  to  worship?    Take 


the  medical  profession  as  another  illustration. 
Who  of  those  who  hold  the  degree  can  you  vouch 
for  as  true  physicians,  genuine  ministers  of  mercy, 
and  real  devotees  of  science  ?  How  many  are  there 
to  whom  the  practice  of  medicine  is  anything  more 
than  a  matter  of  routine  or  a  ladder  for  personal 
ambition  ?  How  long  is  the  list  of  those  who  seek 
to  penetrate  the  surface  of  objective  phenomena,  to 
soar  to  the  heights  of  discovery,  and  to  w^rite  their 
names  upon  the  records  of  medicine  and  in  the 
history  of  the  age?  Alas  !  you  know  full  well  that 
but  too  many  are  satisfied  with  the  merest  smatter- 
ing of  medical  knowledge,  content  with  the  crudest 
washings  from  the  mines  of  science,  and  aspire  to 
nothing  beyond  the  foot-prints  of  their  predecessors, 
without  giving  a  thought  to  the  elevation  of  them- 
selves and  the  advancement  of  their  profession  ! 

One  of  the  strangest  things,  too^  is  the  desire 
which  medical  men  manifest  to  become  teachers  of 
medicine,  while  the  intensity  of  this  aspiration 
seems  to  have  an  inverse  ratio  to  their  ability  to 
impart  instruction.  There  seems  to  be  a  charm 
about  the  title  of  "  Professor"  which  it  is  difficult 
for  many  physicians  to  resist,  and  they  seek  it  with 
the  rapacity  of  sharks  in  pursuit  of  their  prey.  I 
am  sure  these  observations  will  immediately  recall 
to  your  memory  a  mutual  friend  who  once  figured 
in  this  mistaken  role.  Of  an  unprepossessing  ap- 
pearance ;  wath  a  superciliousness  almost  unparal- 
leled; having  a  voice  which  resembled  more  that 
of  a  sick  crow  than  of  a  human  being  ;  imperfectly 
educated  in  all  regards,  but  especially  so  in  the 
branch  which  he  represented,  and  without  a  single 
professional  gift,  or  grace,  or  accomplishment,  he 
gloried  in  his  title,  and  imagined  himself  unrivaled 
as  a  lecturer.  The  style  of  his  descent  from  his 
carriage,   the   ceremony    of  his  entrance    into  the 

^76  A  doctor's  experiences 

lecture-room,  and  the  pomposity  of  his  performance 
on  the  rostrum,  were  a  study  in  themselves,  and 
would  have  lurnished  a  choice  theme  for  the  pen  of 
a  Dickens  or  a  Thackeray.  No  man  could  have 
witnessed  the  fantastic  performances  of  this  ''  great 
professor"  without  splitting  his  sides  with  laughter 
or  garnering  in  his  memory  a  perpetual  source  of 
diversion  and  amusement.  In  short,  his  manner 
and  style  were  so  unique,  extraordinary,  prepos- 
terous, and  ridiculous  as  to  transcend  the  power  of 
words  to  describe  or  to  perpetuate.  For  a  while 
the  students  restrained  their  disgust  and  submitted 
unmurmuringly  to  his  assumptions,  but  when  they 
discovered  that  his  examinations  were  as  rigid  as 
if  he  were  really  capable  of  imparting  instruction — 
actually  had  a  right  to  expect  his  hearers  to  know 
something  of  the  subject,  which  his  lecture  only 
served  to  obscure  and  complicate — they  perempto- 
rily refused  to  permit  him  to  lecture.  Whenever 
he  presented  himself,  they  overwhelmed  him  with 
applause,  cheering  and  encoring  him  at  the  highest 
pitch  of  their  voices,  and  drowning  his  every  word 
in  a  tempest  of  noisy  demonstrations.  It  was  in 
vain  that  he  tried  first  to  cajole  and  then  to  threaten 
them — he  was  persistently  received  in  the  same  way 
until  mortified  and  beaten  he  was  compelled  to  re- 
tire from  the  rostrum.  The  authorities  of  the 
College  intervened  without  effect,  and  he  finally 
came  to  me  and  earnestly  solicited  my  assistance. 
Although  I  could  but  sympathize  with  the  students, 
I  felt  that  they  were  in  the  wrong — that  they  had 
taken  the  law  into  their  own  hands,  and  were  in  a 
state  of  actual  rebellion — and  I  promised  to  inter- 
pose and  to  use  my  influence  to  relieve  him  from 
his  painful  dilemma.  Oq  the  succeeding  day  I 
premised  my  lecture  by  saying  :  Gentlemen,  I  am 
sure  you  will  admit  that  I  have  tried  to  do  my  duty 


as  a  professor  in  this  school,  and  will  recognize  in 
me  a  friend  to  each  and  to  all  of  you.  1  have  then 
a  favor  to  ask,  and  to  reinforce  it  by  what  some 
might  call  a  threat.  I  want  you  to  promise  me 
that  you  will  permit  the  Professor  of to  con- 
tinue his  lectures  ;  and  as  you  desire  the  vote  of 
the  Professor  of  Surgery,  I  am  confident  you  will 
not  disturb  him  again."  This  was  received  with  a 
round  of  applause,  and  I  felt  that  I  had  won  the  day 
for  my  colleague — and  such  really  proved  to  be  the 
case,  for  he  had  no  difficulty  with  the  class  from 
that  time  forward.  Now,  what  do  you  suppose  was 
my  recompense  for  this  friendly  and  successful  in- 
tervention ?  It  was  nothing  less  than  the  eternal 
hatred  of  him  who  had  thus  been  saved  from  dis- 
grace and  ruin.  He  affected  to  believe  that  I  was 
the  author  of  the  conspiracy,  and  that  the  class  had 
finally  yielded  against  my  real  wishes^  influenced 
solely  by  the  apprehension  of  losing  so  valued  a 

Beware,  my  dear  friend,  of  an  inherent  fool  whose 
heart  is  surcharged  with  vanity,  for  of  all  men  he 
is  least  to  be  trusted  and  the  surest  to  prove  un- 
grateful. Besides,  I  had  rather  rely  upon  the  con- 
sideration of  a  rabid  dog  than  the  gratitude  of  a 
resuscitated  viper. 

•78  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

Availing  myself  of  the  privilege  secured  by 
''early  piety,"  as  I  have  fully  explained  in  a  pre- 
ceding page  of  this  narrative,  I  have  indeed  gone 
beyond  ''school  bounds"  in  the  foregoing  disserta- 
tion on  human  folly,  incompetency,  and  ingrati- 
tude. I  must  beg  you,  therefore,  to  return  with 
me  to  Fairfax,  and  to  let  rae  talk  again  of  my 
school  days. 

I  frequently  visited  a  neighboring  town  in  com- 
pany with  Landon  Eliason,  a  comrade  over  whose 
early  grave  I  have  since  shed  many  a  tear.  His 
mother  belonged  to  the  Carter  family,  one  of  the 
oldest  and  best  of  the  State,  and  she  was  as  splen- 
did a  specimen  of  womanhood  as  ever  I  met. 
Within  her  hospitable  doors  some  of  my  happiest 
days  were  spent,  and  I  can  but  speak  of  her  with 
gratitude  and  pleasure.  At  that  time  she  was  liv- 
ing with  her  aged  and  infirm  mother,  dispensing 
that  generous  and  genial  hospitality  for  which  her 
race  had  so  long  been  distinguished,  even  in  old 
Virginia.  She  had  several  sons,  all  remarkable 
for  their  personal  beauty  and  accomplishments^ 
and  it  was  ber  delight  to  assemble  the  young  peo- 
ple of  the  town  under  her  roof  for  their  entertain- 
ment and  diversion.  At  one  of  these  gatherings  I 
met  a  beautiful  girl,  and  fell  in  love  with  her — so 
desperately,  in  fact,  that  for  many  a  long  year  she 


was  the  star  that  guided  me  and  the  divinity  at 
whose  shrioe  I  worshiped. 

Of  sylph-like  figure,  as  graceful  as  a  fawn,  with 
an  eye  in  which  the  sunlight  of  Heaven  was  mir- 
rored, and  a  voice  that  was  music  idealized,  she 
was  the  most  consummate  flirt  that  a  southern  sun 
ever  developed.  Every  boy  above  sixteen  loved 
her  to  distraction,  and  each  believed  himself  the 
special  object  of  her  affections.  To  me  she  seemed 
a  vision  of  perfect  beauty — a  glimpse  of  Paradise — 
a  special  revelation  from  Heaven — and  I  loved  her 
with  all  the  fervor  and  idolatry  of  an  intensely  po- 
etic and  sensitive  nature. 

I  told  you  that  she  was  inherently  a  flirt,  and  I 
will  give  you  one  of  my  reasons  for  believing  so.  One 
night  Landon  and  I  walked  home  with  her,  for 
friends  as  we  were,  neither  had  an  idea  of  giving 
the  other  the  slightest  advantage  so  far  as  she  was 
concerned.  Seizing  a  favorable  opportunity,  I 
slipped  iny  hand  within  the  muff  which  she  car- 
ried, and  after  a  brief  interval  I  was  delighted  to 
touch  a  hand  which  closed  upon  mine  responsively. 
For  about  three  hundred  yards  of  space,  though  it 
seemed  but  a  single  instant  of  time,  I  was  the  hap- 
piest of  mortals,  believing  that  while  she  talked  to 
my  friend  in  honeyed  words,  I  held  her  hand  in 
loving  embrace  and  possessed  her  heart  as  well. 
Just  as  she  reached  her  mother's  door  she  held  up 
her  hands  exultingly,  and  with  the  merriest  laugh 
that  ever  broke  the  stillness  of  tlie  solemn  night, 
exclaimed:  '^Well,  young  men,  how  do  you  like 
each  other's  hands?"  ^vhen  Landon  and  I  discov- 
ered that  we  were  "  sold,"  for  both  of  us  had  exe- 
cuted the  same  manoeuver  as  regards  the  muff',  and 
we  had  been  squeezing  each  other's  hands  instead 
of  our  sweetheart's  for  the  entire  distance. 

I  returned  to  school  in  a  dreadful  state  of  mind 

80  A  doctor's  experiences 

— desperately  in  love  and  utterly  despondent  — 
and,  without  any  previous  knowledge  of  the  pos- 
session of  the  ^'poetic  gift,"  1  wrote  upon  the 
blank  page  of  the  Livy  that  I  pretended  to  study 
the  following  Byronic  effusion  : 

Oh !  for  a  drop  from  Lethe's  stream 

That  flo^Yed  in  days  of  yore — 
A  drop  to  snatch  me  from  this  dream 

And  make  me  love  no  more ; 
A  drop  from  ^Memory's  page  to  blot 

Each  hne  that's  written  there, 
A  drop  to  make  my  future  lot 

Oblivion — not  despair. 

This  depression  was  not  of  long  duration.  It 
was  replaced,  if  not  by  a  hopeful  state  of  mind,  at 
least  by  a  determination  to  win  the  prize  at  all 
hazards,  and  without  regard  to  the  timerequiied 
for  the  task.  A  new  life  was  born  within  me,  and 
I  became  at  once  the  most  earnest  and  studious  of 
boys.  From  that  moment  I  stood  at  the  head  of  my 
classes  and  carried  off  the  highest  marks  in  all  the 
public  examinations.  My  pride  and  ambition  were 
stimulated  to  the  highest  degree  and  I  determined 
to  make  a  name  for  myself,  not  only  in  the  little 
world  of  Clarens  but  in  the  grander  arena  of  real 
life.  Much  of  what  I  have  accomplished  since,  ^t 
school,  in  the  University^  and  wherever  my  destiny 
has  been  cast,  is  due  to  the  direct  influence  of  the 
passion  which  this  young  girl  inspired — to  the  as- 
piration to  excel,  the  power  of  concentration,  and 
the  fixedness  of  j)nrpose  which  it  developed  within 

The  finale  of  this  affair  is  sufficiently  interesting 
to  bear  relating.  Six  years  afterward  I  found  my- 
self at ^  en  route  to   Philadelphia  to   complete 

my  medical  studies.     I  had  made  this  long  detour 
because  I  desired  to  hear  from  her  who  had  so  lonoj 



been  the  object  of  my  idolatry,  the  words  of  cheer 
or  of  doom,  which,  as  I  then  believed,  would  de- 
cide my  fate  forever.  With  trembling  limbs  and 
a  beating  heart  I  ascended  the  steps  so  familiar  in 
the  days  of  my  boyhood,  sent  in  my  card,  and  was 
received  by  the  young  lady — as  kindly  as  if  I  had 
been  a  long-absent  brother,  but  with  the  assurance 
that  I  had  loved,  labored,  and  suffered  in  vain — 
that  she  did  not  love  me,  and  could  never  be  my 
wife.  I  said  nothing,  because  I  felt  that  if  the 
long  years  through  wdiich  I  had  worshiped  so  per- 
sistently at  the  shrine  of  her  beauty  spoke  nothing 
in  my  behalf,  it  was  useless  to  utter  a  word  of  pro- 
test or  appeal  ;  and  I  went  on  my  way,  feeling  as 
every  earnest  and  disappointed  man  does  under 
such  circumstances.  I  thought  I  saw  a  tear  on  her 
cheek  as  I  left  the  room,  but  I  did  not  linger  to 
ask  its  meaning,  or  to  contrast  its  significance  with 
that  of  the  emphatic  language  of  her  lips.  And 
thus  we  parted,  never  to  meet  again — as  I  sup- 

After  I  had  been  in  Philadelphia  some  ten  days, 
I  awakened  one  morning  greatly  impressed  by  a 
•dream.  I  dreamed  that  I  had  received  a  letter 
from  my  sweetheart,  expressing  at  her  con- 
duct and  recalling  me  to  her  side  ;  and  I  remem- 
bered with  distinctness  alike  the  general  tenor  of 
this  communication  and  its  external  appearance. 
I  immediately  awakened  my  room-mate,  told  him 
of  my  dream,  and  begged  him  to  accompany  me  to 
the  post  office.  He  was  utterly  incredulous,  but, 
being  the  best-hearted  fellow  in  the  world,  he 
dressed  quickly  and  went  with  me.  In  response 
to  my  inquiry,  I  was  first  told  that  there  was  "  no 
letter  for  Dr.  Edward  Warren,"  but  having  im- 
portuned the  agent  to  look  for  a  letter  addressed 
to  ''Edward  Warren,  M.  D.,"  he  kindly  did   so, 


82  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  handed  me  a  letter  exactly  similar  in  appear- 
ance and  in  tenor  to  the  one  which  I  had  seen  in 
my  dream.  Without  stopping  to  comment  on  this 
extraordinary  occurrence — this  singular  realization 
of  a  dream — I  will  simply  say  that  the  next  morn- 
ing found  me  in ,  the  happiest  of  human  be- 
ings in  anticipation  of  the  coming  interview  with 
the  object  upon  w^hich  the  deepest  lo\^e  of  my  na- 
ture had  been  lavished  for  so  many  years.  The 
hour  arrived,  and  1  was  made  supremely  happy 
by  the  confession — seemingly  made  with  entire 
frankness — that,  from  the  first  and  throughout^ 
her  heart  had  been  wholly  and  exclusively  mine. 
Oh,  the  rapture  of  love's  young  dream  !  Oh, 
the  bliss  of  love's  first  confession  !  Life  has  nothing 
else  comparable  with  it. 

"  Devotion  wafts  the  soul  above, 
But  Heaven  itself  descends  in  love." 

I  returned  to  Philadelphia  with  perfect  peace 
and  joy  reigning  in  my  heart,  prouder  than  the 
conqueror  who  sighed  for  new  worlds  over  which  to 
extend  his  dominion,  and  believing  that  my  path- 
way was  to  be  illuminated  with  perpetual  sunshine 
and  strewn  with  never-fading  flowers.  How  beau- 
tiful everything  appeared  to  me  !  How  kindly  I 
felfc  toward  all  mankind  !  How  faithfully  I  studied 
and  tried  to  excel !  I  poured  out  my  feelings  in  a 
flood  tide  of  impassioned  letters  ;  I  addressed  son- 
nets innumerable  to  my  lady  love  ;  the  mails 
groaned  under  the  weight  of  the  love  tokens  which 
I  sent  to  my  darling  ;  and  I  lived  for  weeks  in  a 
state  of  exaltation  which  approached  to  delirium. 
Suddenly,  a  cloud  overspread  the  heaven  which  cano- 
pied the  fairy  land  wherein  I  dwelt  so  happily,  and 
filled  it  with  darkness  and  my  very  soul  with  ter- 
ror.    The  missives  which  had  been  my  daily  solace 


and  inspiration  came  no  more  ;  and  I  was  plunged 
into  a  slough  of  doubt  and  apprehension.  It  was 
in  vain  that  I  invoked  every  conceivable  means  to 
obtain  a  solution  of  the  mystery — only  the  simple 
fact  remained  that  she  wrote  no  more  and  that  I 
was  miserable  because  of  her  silence.  So  soon  as 
the  examinations  were  over,  without  waiting  for 
commencement- day  and  the  distribution  of  di- 
plomas, I  started  for  Washington,  having  dis- 
covered by  the  merest  accident  that  she  was  stay- 
ing there  with  some  relatives.  I  saw  her  and 
heard  from  her  own  lips  the  strange  and  inexplicable 
announcement  that  she  was  "  engaged  to  another 
and  intended  soon  to  marry  him.''  She,  in  fact,  had 
been  engaged  to  him  for  many  months,  even  when 
she  recalled  me  and  promised  to  be  my  wife;  and 
she  did  marry  him  within  a  few  weeks  after  our  final 
interview.  I  demanded  no  explanation  ;  I  spoke 
not  an  upbraiding  word  ;  and  I  left  her  as  quietly 
as  if  she  were  only  a  casual  acquaintance,  and  had 
never  held  my  heart-strings  in  her  hands  ;  for  the 
confession  that  she  loved  another  eradicated  in- 
stantaneously and  eternally  every  element  of  the 
love  which  I  had  cherished  for  her.  As  if  by 
magic  the  words  so  lightly  spoken  extinguished 
the  grand  passion  which  for  so  many  years  had 
been  the  controlling  power  of  my  being.  Such  is 
the  potency  of  pride  when  once  it  is  thoroughly 
aroused  in  the  human  heart — or  at  least  in  one 
like  mine.  She  married  a  good  man,  with  a  great 
name,  and  I  hope  and  believe  that  she  was  happy 
in  her  wedded  life. 

I  now  realize  it  was  ''all  for  the  best,"  while 
the  influence  of  the  passion  which  she  inspired 
helped  to  develop  my  character,  and  to  impart 
vitality  to  the  ambition  which  has  given  a  com- 
plexion and  a  direction  to  my  entire  life. 

S4:  A  doctor's  experiexces 

Speaking  of  ambition — the  desire  to  excel,  and 
lo  have  that  excellence  recognized  and  rewarded — 
reminds  me  of  how  often  you  have  chaifed  me  for 
being  so  much  engrossed  by  that  passion,  and  have 
ui'ged  me  to  put  it  away.  It  also  recalls  what  my 
friend,  Governor  Vance,  once  said  in  this  connec- 
tion. When  I  w^as  promoted  by  the  Legislature  of 
North  Carolina  to  the  rank  of  "  brigadier-general  " 
as  a  special  reward  for  my  services  as  surgeon-gen- 
eral of  the  State,  some  one  asked  the  Govei^nor  if 
he  thought  I  would  accept  the  promotion  in  view  of 
the  report  which  was  then  in  circulation  that  all 
persons  holding  the  rank  of  general  were  to  be 
shot  in  the  event  of  the  failure  of  the  Confeder- 
acy? "  Well,"  said  he,  ''  I  know  Warren  as  well 
as  the  next  man,  and  I  can  tell  you  this  about 
him  ;  he  would  take  the  rank  of  brigadier-general 
with  the  chalice  of  being  shot  on  account  of  it  at 
the  end  of  the  war,  but  he  would  accept  the  rank 
of  major-general  with  the  certainty  of  being  shut 
for  it  to-morrow."  I  have  lived  long  enough  to 
appreciate  the  folly  of  a  sentiment  which  carries 
with  it  so  much  of  unrest  and  anxiety  in  any 
■event,  and  to  wish  from  the  bottom  of  my  heart 
that  I  had  been  content  to  spend  my  days  in  bliss- 
ful ease  under  the  elms  of  old  Edenton,  instead  of 
chasing  an  empty  shadow  around  the  world.  Few 
men,  it  is  true,  have  reaped  a  larger  harvest  of 
what  the  world  calls  honors — pardon  the  seeming 
egotism  of  the  assertion — and  yet  there  lives  not  a 
being  who  has  grown  more  indiiferent  to  them. 

My  expei-ience  at  the  "final  examination"  at 
Clarens  is  especially  apropos  in  this  connection. 

With  one  of  my  teachers  I  was  never  on  good 
terms,  our  want  of  fellowship  being  based  upon 
that  inherent  repulsion  which  plays  so  important  a 
Tolem  human  association.      I  had   no  idea,  how- 


ever,  of  his  malignity  until  the  occasion  to  which 
I  refer.  There  chanced  to  be  only  one  problem  in 
geometry  which  I  was  not  master  of,  and,  on  the 
night  preceding  the  public  examination  at  the  close 
of  the  session  I  told  him  of  this  fact,  and  re- 
quested him  to  question  me  on  any  other  rather 
than  on  that  one.  He  smiled,  and  said  he  would 
remember  my  request,  which  T  interpreted  to 
mean  that  he  would  respect  it  and  act  fairly  with 

On  the  succeeding  day,  with  the  house  filled 
with  ladies  and  gentlemen — including  the  prin- 
cipal and  his  family,  the  entire  corps  of  teachers, 
the  students  of  the  seminary,  and  many  other 
prominent  persons — he  called  up  the  class  in  geom- 
etry. After  having  read  out  the  "  marks  "  show- 
ing the  standing  of  the  students  for  the  entire  ses- 
sion, and  of  which  I  had  by  far  the  highest  num- 
ber, he  examined  us  orally  in  the  strictest  manner, 
and  then  sent  three  of  us  at  the  same  time  to  the 
blackboard.  To  my  utter  surprise  and  indigna- 
tion, he  gave  me  for  demonstration  the  very  prob- 
lem which  I  did  not  understand,  and  concerning 
which  I  had  spoken  to  him  on  the  previous  even- 
ing. Here  was  a  dilemma  indeed  !  I  could  not 
demonstrate  it,  and  I  felt  that  I  had  rather  die  than 
fail,  as  this  villainous  teacher  had  so  cunningly 
planned.  But  I  baffled  him,  nevertheless,  by 
doing  that  which  I  considered  justifiable  under  the 
circumstances  While  his  attention  was  directed 
to  the  others,  I  very  quietly  took  another  problem, 
drew  the  diagram  with  great  care,  and  turning  to 
the  principal  asked  permission  to  demonstrate  to 
him,  and  proceeded  to  do  so  as  perfectly  as  it  could 
be  done.  The  teacher  was  too  much  taken  by  sur- 
prise to  interrupt  me,  but,  when  my  work  was 
done,  he  remarked  to  the  principal,  "  I  shall  mark 

86    ,  A  doctor's  experiences 

Edward  Warren  zero  for  bis  demonstration,"  and 
then  dismissed  us,  perfectly  beside  himself  with 
rage.  The  moment  the  examination  w^as  over,  I 
sought  an  interview  with  the  principal,  told  him 
the  whole  story,  and  asked  his  forgiveness.  After 
a  sharp  lecture  he  did  forgive  me,  restored  my 
standing,  and  refused  to  employ  the  teacher  for 
another  session — telling  him  that  though  my 
course  was  wrong,  his  was  absolutely  wicked. 
Some  years  afterward  I  met  this  wretch,  and 
though  he  had  become  a  minister  of  the  gospel 
and  tried  to  be  very  friendly,  I  turned  my  back 
upon  him  in  absolute  contempt  and  disgust. 

Among  my  schoolmates  were  several  who  have 
since  made  their  mark  in  life,  notably  Custis  Lee 
and  Beverly  Ke/Unon,  both  of  whom  have  shown 
themselves  men  of  character  and  talent. 

Despite  the  overdose  of  religion,  the  peculiar 
punishment  of  denying  coffee  to  those  who  were 
late  at  prayers,  the  hostility  displayed  by  the 
teacher  at  my  last  examination,  and  sundry  other 
petty  annoyances,  my  school  days  at  Clarens  passed 
pleasantly  enough,  and  the  dear  old  place  has  re- 
mained a  "green  spot"  in  my  memory  through- 
out the  long  years  which  have  passed  since  I  left 
its  friendly  portals  to  take  my  chance  in  life. 

An  examination  of  the  map  of  North  Carolina 
will  show  3^ou  that  there  is  a  narrow  strip  of  land 
interposed  between  the  sounds  and  the  ocean  along 
its  entire  coast  line.  This  strip  varies  from  one  to 
two  miles  in  width,  and  is  composed  almost  exclu- 
sively of  sand,  which  forms  itself  into  hills  and 
ridges  that  continually  change  their  form  and  po- 
sition under  the  influence  of  the  prevailing  winds. 
That  portion  of  this  sand-belt  immediately  oppo- 
site Hoanoke  Island  is  known  as  "Nag's  Head," 
and  it  has  long  been  a  favorite  resort  of  the  inhab- 


itants  of  the  Albemarle  region,  who  visit  it  during 
the  summer  months  to  escape  the  greater  heat  and 
the  more  potent  malaria  of  the  interior. 

My  fatsher  owned  a  cottage  there,  and  I  spent 
my  vacation  in  it — and  a  delightful  one  it  was. 
Nag's  Head  derives  its  name,  according  to  tradi- 
tion, from  the  habit  which  an  old  wrecker  had  of 
tying  a  lantern  to  the  head  of  his  lame  mare,  and 
then  leading  her  along  the  shore  on  dark  and 
stormy  nights,  so  as  to  allure  ships  to  their  doom 
by  conveying  the  idea  that  some  other  craft  was 
sailing  in  safety  nearer  shore.  These  wreckers 
were  a  desperate  set  of  men,  and  they  lived  exclu- 
sively on  the  spoils  of  the  deep — that  is,  by  the 
robbery  of  drowning  sailors  and  the  pillage  of  dis- 
abled ships. 

Among  the  most  prominent  of  these  ^4and  pi- 
rates" was  a  certain  Parson  Midgett,  who  resided 
near  Nag's  Head,  and  prided  himself  equally  on 
his  success  in  bringing  sinners  to  repentance  and 
his  skill  in  running  ships  ashore,  with  the  pious 
purpose  of  drowning  their  crew  and  of  appropriat- 
ing their  cargoes.  One  Sunday — so  the  story  goes 
— he  was  rejoicing  in  the  presence  of  a  large  and 
enthused  congregation,  in  ''anxious  benches" 
filled  with  stricken  ''mourners,"  and  in  the  work 
of  salvation  which  was  progressing  "like  a  house 
afire."  Just  as  his  religious  zeal  had  reached  its 
acme  there  was  an  announcement  of  "a  wreck  on 
Kitty  Hawk  Beach,"  and  the  whole  assembly 
arose  and  made  a  rush  for  the  scene  of  disaster, 
expecting  to  reap  there  a  welcomed  harvest.  With 
stentorian  voice^  and  in  the  name  of  the  Deity,  the 
preacher  commanded  a  "halt,"  and  forced  the 
brethren  to  resume  their  seats.  Then,  descending 
with  measured  tread  from  the  pulpit,  and  march- 
ing solemnly  down  the  aisle,  with  hands  uplifted 

88  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  eyes  turned  heavenward,  and  the  most  fiery  of 
his  hymns  swelling  in  thunder  tones  from  his  lips, 
he  finally  reached  the  door,  when  he  cried  out: 
"Fair  play,  fair  play,  sisters  and  brethren;  let  us 
have  a  fair  start;  '  and  he  rushed  off  at  full  speed 
for  the  wreck,  leaving  his  deluded  flock  to  catchup 
with  him  if  they  could. 

A  new  civilization  has  dawned  upon  these  once 
benipjhted  shores,  and  the  haunts  of  the  "wreck- 
ers" have  been  transformed  into  "life-saving  sta- 
tions," from  which  friendly  beacons  and  succoring 
hands  greet  the  strusrslins:  mariners,  while  Mid- 
gett  and  his  band  have  been  exiled  to  a  warmer  if 
not  a  better  country. 

I  found  this  spot  a  perfect  paradise  for  the  gun  - 
ner  and  the  fisherman,  and  I  enjoyed  its  charms 
with  all  the  greater  zest  because  of  the  hard  work 
which  I  had  done  at  school  in  preparing  myself  for 

In  company  with  my  eldest  sister,  and  in  the 
horse-cart — which  was  the  only  vehicle  possible  in 
the  sands — I  wandered  over  the  face  of  creation, 
explored  every  hill  and  valley  and  creek  and  bay 
of  the  Head,  collecting  shells,  plucking  flowers, 
gathering  grapes,  picking  chincapins,  shooting 
birds,  catching  fish,  watching  the  angry  breakers, 
building  castles  in  the  air,  forgetful  that  care  ex- 
isted or  that  there  was  any  land  save  Eutopia. 

In  returning  to  Edenton  after  the  war,  the 
steamer  on  which  I  was  a  passenger  stopped  at 
Eoanoke  Island,  and  turning  toward  the  opposite 
shore  I  searched  for  the  old  landmarks  and  habita- 
tions of  what  was  once  Nag's  Head.  But  the 
search  was  a  vain  one — I  could  not  find  a  vestige 
of  the  once  familiar  objects,  and  everything  looked 
wild  and  drear  and  curious  there.  The  ever-rest- 
less sands   had  buried   every  trace  of  the  verdure 


which  once  stood  out  so  conspicuously  in  the  snowy 
landscape,  and  had  arranged  themselves  into  new 
and  strange  combinations  of  hills  and  plains  and 
valleys,  totally  changing  the  aspect  of  the  place. 
The  houses,  within  the  friendly  walls  of  which  so 
many  hours  had  been  passed  in  brighter  times,  had 
disappeared  entirely,  having  succumbed  to  the 
storms  which  had  swept  over  them  for  a  decade  or 
having  furnished  materials  for  the  huts  which  the 
fugitive  negroes  built  elsewhere  during  the  war. 

Such  a  transformation,  in  truth,  had  been  wrought 
by  the  conjoint  agency  of  the  elements  and  the  hand 
of  vandalism  that  I  should  never  have  recognized 
the  summer  home  of  my  boyhood  ;  and  such  a  scene 
of  desolation  and  barrenness  presented  itself  to  my 
view  as  I  never  conceived  of  before,  and  never  saw 
afterward  until  my  lot  was  cast  amid  the  sands  of 
the  desert. 

I  was  sad  enough  already,  for  in  the  wreck  of  the 
•'  lost  cause"  I  had  seen  every  trace  of  my  property 
disappear,  and  the  plans  and  the  hopes  of  a  life- 
time blasted,  but,  when  I  beheld  the  utter  ruin 
which  had  befallen  Nag's  Head — the  complete  de- 
struction which  had  overtaken  a  spot  with  which 
so  many  cherished  memories  were  associated — I 
broke  down  entirely,  and,  retiring  to  my  cabin,  I 
spent  the  day  in  tears  and  solitude,  feeling,  indeed, 

"  Like  one  who  treads  alone 
Some  banquet  hall  deserted, 
Whose  lights  are  fled,  whose  garlands  dead, 
And  all  but  me  departed." 

I  have  since  learned  that,  with  the  financial  re- 
cuperation of  that  section,  a  day  of  renewed  pros- 
perity has  dawned  upon  Nag's  Head,  and  that  it 
has  again  become  a  resort  for  crowds  of  visitors  as 
gay  and  as  joyous  even  as  those  who  frequented  it 

90  A  doctor's  experiences 

in  other  days.  How  I  should  like  once  more  to 
gather  shells  upon  its  beautiful  beach,  to  feel  its 
refreshing  breezes  on  my  brow,  and  to  hear  its 
breakers  roar,  as  in  the  olden  time! 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  had  intended  to  go  with  Landon  Eliason  and 
other  classmates  to  Princeton,  but  my  father  was 
too  ardent  a  Virginian  to  permit  me  to  matriculate 
in  any  other  college  than  the  university  of  his  na- 
tive State. 

In  those  days  the  railroad  from  Richmond  ran 
only  as  far  as  Gordonsville,  and  the  remainder  of 
the  journey  had  to  be  accomplished  in  a  stage  coach. 
I  came  very  near  never  accomplishing  it  at  all  ;  for, 
on  reaching  Gordonsville,  the  germs  of  malaria 
which  I  had  absorbed  in  my  rambles  by  the  sea 
developed  into  a  full-blown  "remittent  fever/'  and 
for  several  days  I  lay  there  hovering  between  life 
and  death.  One  of  my  old  schoolmates  whom  I 
had  met  en  route  shamefully  abandoned  me,  but  a 
negro  connected  with  the  hotel  nursed  me  with 
great  tenderness,  and  really  saved  my  life.  I  was 
too  ill  to  ask  for  a  doctor,  and  nobody  seemed  to 
think  of  sending  for  one,  so  my  constitution  had  to 
fight  it  out  with  the  disease,  and  finally  won  the 
day,  but  I  was  left  in  a  state  of  great  physical  weak- 
ness and  mental  depression.  In  all  previous  attacks 
of  sickness  I  had  my  father's  skill  and  my  mother's 
tenderness  to  rely  upon,  and  I  had  no  conception 
of  what  it  was  to  suffer  in  solitude  and  among 
strangers.  The  lesson  taught  me  was  a  hard  one, 
and  I  could  not  forget  it  were  I  to  live  to  the  age 
of  Methuselah. 

92  A  doctor's  experiences 

So  soon  as  it  became  practicable  I  had  myself 
lifted  into  the  stage-coach  and  carried  to  the  Uni- 
versity. The  effort  proved  too  much,  however,  for 
my  strength,  and  immediately  on  my  arrival  I  ex- 
perienced a  relapse,  and  had  a  repetition  of  my 
experiences  at  Gordonsville.  It  was  many  weeks 
before  I  could  commence  my  studies,  and  when  1 
did  so,  the  class  had  already  gone  over  so  much 
ground  that  the  session  was  practically  lost  to  me 
— much  to  my  humiliation  and  detriment.  During 
the  whole  of  this  painful  period  I  did  not  com- 
municate to  my  friends  at  home  a  single  fact  relat- 
ing to  my  illness,  but  on  the  contrary  I  wrote  them 
cheerful  and  hopeful  letters,  in  order  to  save  them 
the  pain  and  anxiety  which  a  true  statement  of  the 
case  would  have  occasioned. 

In  this  I  made  a  great  mistake,  for  when  I  re- 
turned to  Edenton  in  the  succeeding  summer  I 
looked  so  thin  and  wretched  that  my  parents  were 
shocked  and  distressed  immeasureably.  Besides, 
my  father  had  expected  such  great  things  in  the  way 
of  scholastic  honors  from  my  habits  of  study  and  my 
ambition  to  excel,  that  he  could  not  help  feeling 
disappointed — the  more  >so  as  I  had  not  prepared 
him  for  mv  failure.  The  s^ood  old  man  actuallv 
shed  tears  when  he  subsequently  read  over  the  list 
of  the  ''distinguished,"  and  found  that  my  name, 
which  he  had  expected  to  see  at  the  head  of  the 
"  roll  of  honor,"  did  not  appear  in  it  at  all. 

The  previous  session  had  been  an  exciting  and 
memorable  one.  A  party  of  students  having  im- 
bibed rather  freely  before  visiting  a  traveling 
menagerie  and  circus,  provoked  an  encounter  with 
the  company,  which  proved  most  disastrous.  See- 
ing that  those  who  commenced  the  difficulty  were 
getting  the  worst  of  it,  their  comrades,  though  in 
no  way  responsible  for  the  affray,  went  to  their  as- 


sistance,  with  the  result  of  a  general  fight  of  the 
most  savage  character.  The  students  were  un- 
armed, while  the  men  of  the  menagerie  pulled  up 
the  stakes  surrounding  the  ring,  and  used  them 
with  terrific  effect.  A  number  of  students  were 
severely  wounded,  and  young  Glover,  of  Georgia, 
Avas  killed  outright.  This  unfortunate  youth  was 
one  of  the  most  respected  members  of  the  college, 
and  had  joined  in  the  melee  exclusively  from  an 
esjyrit  de  corps.  So  soon  as  the  intelligence  of  this 
«ad  event  reached  the  University  the  great  bell 
was  rung,  the  whole  body  of  students  assembled 
upon  the  lawn,  and  a  resolution  was  taken  to 
march  immediatply  to  Charlottesville,  and  to 
avenge  their  murdered  comrade.  The  rumor  of 
their  approach  preceded  them,  and  when  they  ar- 
rived at  the  scene  of  the  disturbance  the  showmen 
had  fled,  leaving  their  tents  and  wagons  behind 
them.  In  a  state  of  the  wildest  excitement  the 
students  took  measures  at  once  to  destroy  the 
abandoned  property,  and  to  pursu8  its  owners  so  as 
to  bring  them  to  summary  justice.  At  this  junc- 
ture the  civil  authorities  intervened,  and  by  dint 
of  much  persuasion,  and  a  promise  to  take  imme- 
diate steps  to  arrest  the  fugitives  and  to  have  them 
duly  tried,  they  succeeded  in  inducing  the  students 
to  return  to  their  quarters  and  to  let  the  law  have 
its  course.  I  am  sorry  to  say,  however,  that 
though  the  culprits  were  captured^  confined  in  jail, 
and  finally  tried,  they  escaped  punishment,  be- 
cause of  the  difficulty  of  identifying  the  man  who 
struck  the  fatal  blow.  The  remains  of  poor  Glover 
were  conveyed  to  college  and  deposited  in  the 
University  burying  ground,  where  a  beautiful 
monument  was  erected  over  them.  It  was  said 
that  the  only  weapon  which  the  students  possessed 
was  a  pistol  which  some  one  placed  in  the  hands 

94  A  doctor's  experiences 

of  Jack  Seddorij  a  brother  of  the  Hon.  James  A. 
Secldori,  late  Confederate  Secretary  of  War,  and  a 
cousin  of  mine.  Instead  of  discharging  it,  he,  with 
^reat  presence  of  mind,  used  it  to  menace  the  in- 
furiated showmen  while  he  rescued  in  turn  three 
wounded  students  and  brought  them  out  in  safety. 

Sad  as  was  this  event,  a  story  is  told  of  one  of 
the  principal  parties  concerned  in  the  light  which 
I  have  never  been  able  to  think  of  without  laugh- 
ing heartily.  It  seems  that  the  most  drunken  man 
in  the  crowd  which  commenced  the  affray  was  re- 
turning to  the  University  with  some  of  his  com- 
rades when  he  suddenly  commenced  to  wail  and 
weep  as  if  he  were  in  great  agony.  His  friends  at 
first  thought  that  he  was  suffering  from  the  pain 
of  his  wounds,  and  they  tried  to  console  him  in 
that  regard  ;  but  he  answered  nothing  and  went 
on  with  his  crying.  They  then  concluded  that  he 
was  grieving  over  the  death  of  Glover  and  his  in- 
direct agency  in  producing  it,  and  they  endeavored 
to  relieve  his  mind  as  far  as  they  could  on.  that 
point,  but  with  no  better  success  ;  he  still  refused 
to  explain,  and  continued  to  weep  as  if  his  heart 
would  break.  Finally,  one  of  his  comrades  having 
grown  weary  with  the  pertinacity  of  his  lamenta- 
tions, shook  him  by  the  shoulder,  and  demanded  : 
"What  the  h — 1  are  you  crying  about?"  This 
seemed  to  arouse  him  to  a  consciousness  of  his  sur- 
roundings, and  he  stopped  abruptly  and  said:  ''You 
are  all  wrong,  boys.  I  ani  not  crying  on  account 
of  my  wounds  or  even  over  poor  Glover's  death  ;  I 
am  not  thinking  of  those  things  now  ;  but  my 
heart  is  just  broken  over  the  mortifying  reflection 
that  the  rascals  beat  jiie — a  Smith  of  Virginia — 
with  the  stick  they  stirred  the  monkeys  up  with." 

That  summer  was,  indeed,  a  disastrous  one. 
We  were  hardly  settled  in  our  cottage  by  the  sea 


before  we  were  visited  by  a  fearful  cyclone.  For 
about  six  hours  the  hurricane  raged  from  the  direc- 
tion of  the  sea,  breaking  every  pane  of  glass  on  the 
exposed  side  of  the  house,  deluging  us  with  water, 
and  threatening  at  every  moment  to  level  the  frail 
structure  to  the  ground.  It  then  veered  round 
and  blew  with  equal  fury  from  the  opposite  quar- 
ter, sweeping  away  the  windows  that  remained, 
nearly  drowning  us  again,  and  shaking  the  house 
from  roof  to  foundation.  My  father  had  remained 
at  home,  and  it  fell  to  my  lot  to  take  charge  of  the 
family  during  these  long  hours  of  fright  and  peril. 
With  the  help  of  the  servants,  I  moved  the  beds  to 
positions  of  comparative  safet^y ,  placed  my  mother 
and  the  children  upon  them,  and  then  hung  blankets 
and  counterpanes  above  and  around  them.  I  like- 
wise nailed  similar  articles  over  the  dilapidated 
windows,  swept  away  the  water  which  flooded  the 
house,  placed  all  the  provisions  under  the  beds, 
and  played  the  role  generally  of  a  skipper  on  ship- 
board, and  in  a  very  frail  craft  besides. 

When  the  wind  blew  from  the  direction  of  the 
sound,  the  tide  in  a  few  moments  attained  a  height 
of  sixty  feet — reaching  nearly  to  the  summit  of  the 
sand  hill  on  which  the  house  was  built — and  pre- 
sented a  new  danger  in  the  threatened  overflow  of 
the  entire  sand  belt  which  separates  the  sound  and 
the  sea.  Fortunately,  the  wind  abated  before  the 
catastrophe  was  consuai mated,  and  we  breathed 
freely  again,  but  with  a  full  realization  of  the  dan- 
ger from  which  we  had  so  narrowly  and  providen- 
tially escaped. 

In  the  midst  of  the  great  peril  of  the  situation, 
it  was  impossible  to  avoid  an  intense  interest  in  the 
fate  of  a  number  of  ships  which  during  the  first 
hours  of  the  cyclone  were  driven  toward  the 
land — the  "lee  shore"  of  the  mariner's  vocabulary. 

96  A  doctor's  experiences 

Most  of  them  were  fortunate  enough  to  escape  the 
danger,  but  several  became  involved  in  the  breakers 
and  were  wrecked  on  the  sands. 

Some  lives  were  lost,  and  the  beach  was  strewn 
with  wreckage,  while  in  the  way  of  salvage  and 
loot  the  natives  gathered  an  abundant  harvest. 

My  eldest  sister  was  just  eighteen  that  summer, 
and  few  lovelier  girls  had  ever  been  reared  in  Caro- 
lina. She  was  universally  esteemed  not  less  for 
her  personal  charms  than  for  the  loveliness  of  her 
disposition.  Those  soft  gray  eyes  of  hers  mirrored 
a  soul  which  was  the  home  of  the  tenderest,  gentlest, 
and  noblest  sentiments.  With  her,  religion  seemed 
to  be  an  instinctive  sentiment,  directing  and  hal- 
lowing her  every  thought  and  act,  and  spreading 
perpetual  sunshine  around  her  pathway. 

We  were  reared  together,  and  during  her  entire 
life  I  never  knew  her  to  give  way  to  the  slightest 
manifestation  of  anger  or  to  speak  an  unkind  word 
or  to  think  for  a  single  moment  of  her  own  pleasure 
until  she  had  first  secured  that  of  others.  Indeed, 
she  not  only  had  the  face  of  a  Madonna,  but  the 
guilelessness  and  the  gentleness  of  an  angel  from 

It  was  her  misfortune  to  love  a  man  of  splendid 
genius  and  of  the  highest  character,  but  with  the 
taint  of  madness  in  his  blood,  and  though  my 
father  adored  his  daughter,  he  regarded  it  as  an 
imperative  duty  to  forbid  their  union.  The  poor 
girl  yielded  to  his  wishes,  but  she  could  not  eradi- 
cate the  fatal  passion  from  her  heart,  and  she  sank 
into  a  state  of  the  most  profound  melancholy  and 
depression.  Unfortunately,  she  was  seized  just  at 
that  critical  time  with  malarial  fever,  and  died  of 
a  congestive  chill  on  the  third  day  of  her  illness. 

I  remember  her  death-bed  as  distinctly  as  if  I 
had  seen  it  but  yesterday,  though  nearly  forty  years 


have  elapsed  since  I  stood  beside  it,  and  saw  those 
beautiful  eyes  close  forever. 

What  a  terrible  thing  is  death  !  How  the  sun 
darkens  and  the  moon  pales  and  the  flowers  fade 
and  life  loses  its  charm  under  the  blight  of  its 
presence  !  And  then  after  the  first  shock  of  agony 
is  over,  and  the  full  reality  of  loss  and  separation 
comes,  what  a  dreary  pall  overspreads  existence, 
and  how  utterly  empty  and  worthless  the  world 
and  even  heaven  seem  ! 

She  was  near  my  own  age,  and  she  had  been  the 
companion  of  my  entire  life ;  I  had  no  thought  or 
aspiration  to  which  she  was  a  stranger  ;  and  when 
I  saw  her  put  away  in  the  cheerless  earth  my  heart 
felt  a  pang  which  rent  its  every  fiber,  and  left  a 
wound  which  has  not  healed  though  nearly  half  a 
century  has  poured  its  balm  upon  it. 

My  parents  were  utterly  crushed  by  this  blow, 
together  with  the  painful  circumstances  surround- 
ing it,  and  our  once  happy  home  was  transformsd 
into  a  scene  of  mourning  and  an  abode  of  sorrow. 
We  carried  her  remains  to  Edenton  and  buried  them 
in  the  churchj^ard  of  old  St.  Paul's,  among  the 
friends  of  her  childhood,  where  we  all  then  hoped 
to  sleep  when  ''  the  last  of  earth"  had  come,  never 
dreaming  that  our  paths  were  to  separate  so  widely, 
and  that  our  bodies  were  to  be  scattered  to  the 
winds  of  heaven.  How  little  do  we  know  of  the 
future,  even  as  it  relates  to  the  locality  of  a  final 
resting  place  !  Of  those  who  have  borne  my  father's 
name,  one  sleeps  upon  the  banks  of  the  James, 
another  'mid  the  sands  of  the  desert,  another  in  the 
historic  soil  of  St.  Germain,  and  still  another  be- 
neath the  elms  of  Greenmount,  while  fate  has  or- 
dained that  none  of  those  who  loved  her  so  tenderly 
shall  rest  by  her  side,  in  the  old  graveyard  at 

98'  A  doctor's  experiences 

During  this  dreary  season  I  received  a  letter  fiom 
the  editors  of  ''The  University  Magazine,"  the 
organ  of  the  literary  societies  of  the  institution, 
asking  a  contribution  from  my  pen  for  the  number 
which  was  to  appear  with  the  opening  of  the  ses- 
sion. I  therefore  remounted  my  Pegasus,  and  at- 
tempted to  soar  to  the  realms  of  poesy. 

That  had  been  the  ''great  battle  summer,"  when 
revolutions  in  the  name  of  liberty  had  been  at- 
tempted in  nearly  all  of  the  countries  of  Europe, 
and  the  names  of  O'Brien,  Kossuth,  Bern,  and  of 
the  whole  "^  army  of  martyrs"  were  upon  every 

I  reproduce  the  verses  from  memory,  and  you 
must  take  them  for  "what  they  are  worth." 

The  Ijanner  of  freedom  is  trailing, 

The  heroe.-^  who  bore  it  are  slain, 
And  the  hearts  of  patriots  failing, 

Despair  of  its  waving  again ; 
For  the  hojies  which  told  of  a  morrow, 

Untainted  by  tyranny's  breath, 
Have  proved  only  beacons  of  sorrow. 

Alluring  to  exile  or  death. 

Tho'  loud  shouts  of  gladness  are  ringing 

Throughout  the  green  valleys  of  Gaul, 
And  pagans  her  children  are  singing 

O'er  royalty's  terrible  fall ; 
Tho'  cover'd  with  undying  glory. 

The  land  of  the  '*  vine  and  the  dance," 
Oppression  still  revels  all  gory, 

In  the  heart  of  beautiful  France. 

And  thou,  brightest  gem  of  the  ocean  ! 

Where  now  is  thy  patriot  son  ? 
What  palm  has  his  noble  devotion 

To  thee  and  to  liberty  won  ? 
With  fetters,  alas !  they  have  bound  him 

In  a  dungeon,  far  over  the  sea, 
But,  heedless  of  shackles  around  him, 

He  weeps  only,  Erin,  for  thee  ! 



Novv^  Niobe's  pulses  are  leaping, 

With  visions  of  glory  once  more ; 
And  hushed  is  the  voice  of  weeping, 

On  her  classic  but  desolate  shore. 
Alas!  the  bright  dream  is  as  fleeting' 

As  the  foam  on  the  crest  of  the  surge, 
And  the  shock  of  Republicans  meeting, 

Is  fair  freedom's  expiring  dirge. 

Again  that  proud  banner  is  streaming 

From  Hungary's  mountains  of  snow, 
And  gaily  are  all  its  folds  gleaming 

With  a  bright  but  transient  glow ; 
For  fiercely  the  Black  Eagle  swooping, 

A  cloud  o'er  its  brilliancy  flings. 
And  leaves  it,  all  tattered  and  dropping, 

'Neath  the  blow  of  its  powerful  wings. 

For  freedom  the  Magyars  have  striven, 

Tho'  bravely,  alas !  but  in  vain, 
For  round  them,  still  firm  and  unriven, 

Are  the  links  of  a  festering  chain  ; 
But  the  page  that's  brightest  in  story 

Will  tell  what  their  courage  has  done, 
While  onward,  in  grandeur  and  glory, 

Marches  ever  yon  radiant  sun. 

Tho'  tyranny's  bosom  be  heaving 

With  joy  at  the  victory  won. 
Still  fame  a  green  chaplet  is  weaving 

To  bind  round  each  patriot  son  ; 
Tho'  clouds  of  misfortune  may  lower 

O'er  Kossuth  and  chivalrous  Bem, 
Yet  their  deeds  will  like  monuments  tower, 

In  honor  immortal  of  them.  ^ 

No,  never  were  richer  oblations 

Yet  offered  on  altar  or  shrine. 
Than  the  blood  which  these  val'rous  nations. 

Fair  freedom  !  have  lavished  on  thine  ; 
And  the  din  of  the  mighty  commotion, 

When  the  standard  of  liberty  fell. 
Will  roll  o'er  eternity's  ocean. 

Like  the  toll  of  a  funeral  bell. 

I  turn  from  these  pictures  of  sadness. 

My  country !  once  more  unto  thee. 
And  hail  with  ineffable  gladness 

The  home  of  the  just  and  the  free ! 

100  A  doctor's  experiences 

The  land  of  the  true  and  undaunted, 

AVhose  soil  no  tyrant  has  trod ; 
The  refuge  of  nations,  anointed 

By  the  hands  of  a  merciful  God !         ' 

Though  these  lines  are  not  poetry,  they  struck 
the  fancy  of  the  college  boys,  especiall}''  as  they 
were  in  accord  with  the  spirit  of  the  times. 

This  gave  me  a  good  start  for  that  session,  and 
despite  my  depression  of  spirits  and  an  occasional 
attack  of  malarial  fever,  I  did  well  also  in  all  of  my 

The  chair  of  mental  and  moral  philosophy  was 
filled  at  that  time  by  Dr.  Wm.  H.  McGuffy,  a 
good  man  and  an  able  teacher.  Although  not  an 
orator  in  the  highest  signification  of  that  term,  yet 
as  a  lecturer  he  was  clear,  concise,  and  convincing 
to  a  remarkable  degree ;  and  I  feel  under  the 
greatest  possible  obligation  to  him,  for  he  did  more 
to  develop  my  mind  and  to  mold  my  character 
than  all  other  professors  combined.  He  found  me 
a  boy  in  all  regards,  and  he  made  me  a  man,  in- 
tellectually and  morally.  He  taught  me  how  to 
think  and  to  utilize  my  powers  and  acquire- 
ments, while  he  inspired  my  heart  with  pure 
thoughts  and  sound  principles.  He  never  preached 
in  the  lecture-room  or  worried  himself  over  the 
conversion  of  his  students,  but  he  inculcated,  with 
infinite  judgment^  a  deep  and  broad  Christian 
philosophy  as  a  rule  of  conduct  and  a  chart  for 
life.  I  am  confident  that  by  his  marvelous  tact 
and  sound  reasoning  he  did  more  to  counteract  in- 
fidel tendencies  and  to  sow  the  seeds  oF  sound  ethi- 
cal views  than  all  the  canting  seminarians  together. 

With  rare  penetration  he  at  once  detected  the 
intellectual  and  moral  peculiarities  of  each  of  his 
students,  and  adroitly  applied  himself  to  the  task 
of  cultivating  or  of  pruning,  as  the  special  case  re- 


quired.  His  delight  was  to  take  a  man  ''^una- 
wares"— as  the  boys  expressed  it — and  thus  to 
test  both  caliber  and  acquirements.  One  day, 
when  I  had  to  plead  ^'unprepared  on  account  of 
sickness  " — for  I  had  actually  been  too  ill  to  attend 
lectures  or  to  engage  in  study — he  said:  "Never 
mind  about  that ;  I  will  try  you  on  general  prin- 
ciples/' and  deliberately  "put  me  through  "  on 
some  of  the  most  difficult  problems  of  "Butler's 
Analogy."  He  was  brimful  of  fun  as  well,  and 
never  permitted  an  opportunity  to  pass  without 
having  his  little  joke  ;  but  he  invariably  managed 
to  draw  out  of  it  something  of  practical  benefit  to 
the  class.  One  of  his  students — a  great  fool  and  a 
very  pedantic  one — always  answered  the  Doctor's 
questions  with  much  verbosity  and  a  great  affecta- 
tion of  knowledge.  On  a  certain  occasion  he 
called  up  this  Mr.  G.,  and  propounded  some  sim- 
ple question,  when  the  idiot,  placing  either  thumb 
in  the  arm-holes  of  his  vest  and  throwing  his  head 
back  like  a  peacock  on  parade,  jDroceeded  to  give  a 
lengthy  and  flourishing  answer,  wdiich  concluded 
with  the  words  "and  so  forth."  The  Doctor  list- 
ened attentively  to  the  end  of  the  chapter,  and 
then  very  quietly  remarked:  "Well,  sir,  all  of 
that  may  be  true,  though  it  is  beyond  my  com 
prehension,  but  the  proper  answer  to  the  ques- 
tion is  included  in  the  last  words  of  your  discourse, 
the  ^^  and  so  forth. ^'  Our  peacock  was  never  so 
voluminous  or  magnificent  afterward,  and  I  ob- 
served that  his  name  did  not  figure  in  the  list  of 
graduates  of  the  school  of  mental  and  moral  phi- 

Just  a  week  previous  to  the  final  examination  1 
w^as  seized  with  an  attack  of  malarial  fever,  which, 
as  it  precluded  a  review  ot  the  course,  rendered,  as 
1  supposed^  my  graduation  an  impossibility.     The 

102  A  doctor's  experiences 

night  before  the  day  of  trial  I  visited  the  Doctor, 
and  told  him  that  I  felt  compelled  to  ''  withdraw" 
for  the  reason  given.  In  a  moment  he  made  me 
very  happy  by  saying  :  "No,  sir  ;  don't  think  of 
it.  1  shall  graduate  yon  on  your  general  stand- 
ing in  the  class,  for  you  have  received  the  ^  max- 
imum mark'  for  every  recitation  during  the  entire 
session.  I  shall  not,  therefore,  take  into  consider- 
ation the  ^  written  examination  '  of  to-morrow,  in 
deciding  the  question  of  your  graduation."  I 
went  into  the  examination  room  with  a  light  heart, 
but  I  did  my  level  best  to  answer  the  questious 
proposed,  and  I  had  the  gratification  of  learning 
afterward  that  I  received  the  ''  hiodiest  mark"  for 

This  great  and  good  man  has  gone  to  his  re- 
ward, which  has  assuredly  been  that  of  the  right- 
eous, as  he  did  his  duty  faithfully  and  well  in  all 
relations.  Peace  be  to  his  ashes  and  honor  to  his 
memory  !  His  proudest  monument  is  the  success 
which  has  been  achieved  by  those  who  listened  to 
his  instructions — by  those  who,  by  remembering  his 
teaching  and  followinf^  his  example,  have  come  out 
victors  in  the  battle  of  life. 

It  is  a  source  of  pride  and  satisfaction  to  remem- 
ber that  I,  too,  ''  sat  at  the  feet  of  Gamaliel." 

One  of  the  most  charming  men  in  the  faculty 
was  the  professor  of  modern  languages.  Dr.  Scheie 
de  Vere.  Being  a  foreigner,  and  having  manj^  of 
the  peculiarities  of  his  native  country,  it  was  a  long- 
time before  he  could  establish  agreeable  relations 
with  the  students.  His  strange  accent ;  the  curious 
blunders  of  language  which  every  man  ''  not  to 
the  manner  born"  must  necessarily  make  in  lectur- 
ing in  an  alien  tongue ;  the  ultra'  style  of  his 
clothes,  and  the  thousand  odd  conceits  which  he 
displayed   in  as  many  connections,  made  him  for 


years  distasteful  to  the  boys  and  the  object  of 
their  perpetual  ridicule.  But,  after  a  while^  he  be- 
came more  acclimated — less  eccentric  in  language, 
manner,  dress,  and  general  deportment — and  an 
opportunity  was  furnished  for  a  better  comprehen- 
sion of  him,  both  as  a  man  and  as  a  professor,  with 
the  result  of  showing  him  to  be  an  accomplished 
scholar,  an  admirable  teacher,  and  one  of  the 
kindest  and  most  genial  of  men.  I  always  liked 
and  admired  him,  and  after  I  had  become  a  gradu- 
ate of  his  school  and  we  met  on  more  even  terms 
our  relations  culminated  in  a  w^arm  and  enduring 
friendship.  He  still  lives,  an  honor  to  the  school, 
an  ornament  to  society,  a  valued  worker  in  the 
field  of  literature,  and  the  object  of  great  affection 
among  the  students  and  alumni  of  the  University. 

The  most  noted  man  of  the  faculty  was  the  late 
William  B  Rogers.  As  a  philosopher,  a  scientist, 
a  lecturer,  and  a  gentleman,  the  countr}-  has  not 
produced  his  superior.  He  'occupied  the  chair  of 
natural  philosophy,  and  his  lectures  were  models 
alike  of  eloquence  and  of  scientific  merit.  He 
certainly  was  the  most  dramatic  and  impressive 
man  I  ever  saw  in  the  lecture  room,  as  well  as  the 
most  attractive  and  entertaining.  Grenius  was 
written  in  unmistakable  characters  upon  his  brow; 
eloquence  flowed  in  a  copious  and  unbroken  stream 
from  his  lips  ;  grace  showed  itself  in  every  line 
and  movement  of  his  spare  but  symmetrical  figure^ 
and  it  was  impossible  to  see  or  to  hear  him  without 
realizing  the  presence  of  a  man  upon  whom  nature 
had  lavished  her  choicest  gifts. 

Having  carried  a  letter  of  introduction  to  him 
from  my  relative.  Dr.  Thomas  D.  Warren,  who 
had  known  him  at  Williamsburg,  where  his  first 
laurels  were  won,  he  showed  me  great  kindness  and 
consideration.     I  recall  with  pleasure  an  instance 

104  A  doctor's  experiences 

in  which  he  especially  treated  me  as  a  friend  and  a 
gentleman.  One  night  I  was  visiting  Dick  Syl- 
vester— who  died  of  yellow  fever  at  Norfolk  in 
1855 — when  a  cry  of  "fire"  was  raised  on  the 
eastern  range.  We  immediately  rushed  to  the 
scene  of  the  conflagration,  as  did  every  student  in 
the  vicinity,  and  on  arriving  there  we  found  that 
some  drunken  fellows  had  collected  all  the  gates 
which  they  could  detach  from  their  hinges,  and 
had  made  a  bonfire  of  them.  As  the  night  was 
cold,  and  I  had  just  left  a  heated  room,  I  naturally 
turned  up  the  collar  of  my  coat  for  warmth  and 
protection.  You  can  imagine  my  surprise  and  in- 
dignation when  I  learned  some  days  subsequently 
that  an  officer  of  the  college  had  formally  reported 
me  as  ''  one  of  the  gate  burners,"  upon  the  ground 
that  I  had  been  seen  at  the  fire  "  in  disguise." 

I  could  scarcely  believe  that  so  great  a  wrong 
had  been  perpetrated,  and  I  went  immediately  to 
the  officer  in  question,  and  demanded  to  know 
whether  or  not  he  had  made  such  a  report.  To 
my  surprise,  he  answered  angrily  and  brutally  that 
he  had  "  made  such  a  report,  and  was  responsible 
for  it."  My  first  impulse  was  to  resent  his  arro- 
gance and  injustice  in  a  very  decided  manner,  but 
I  contented  myself  with  pi'onouncing  the  report  a 
falsehood^  and  the  assurance  that  I  would  "not 
submit  tamely  to  such  an  outrage." 

I  then  sought  the  dean,  who  was  Prof.  Rogers, 
told  him  the  story,  and  demanded  the  most  search- 
ing investigation.  He  patted  me  kindly  upon  the 
shoulder,  and  said  in  that  bland  and  charming 
way  which  distinguished  him:  "  Restrain  your  ex- 
citement, my  young  friend.  I  threw  the  report 
in  the  fire  as  soon  as  it  was  received  and  said  noth- 
ing to  the  faculty  about  it,  because  from  my 
knowledge  of  your  character  I  was  certain  that  it 


could  not  be  true.  Now,  I  shall  call  upon  the  in- 
former either  to  apologize  or  to  leave."  He  did 
as  he  promised,  and  the  apology  was  duly  made, 
but  I  recognized  that  I  had  made  an  enemy  and 
a  malignant  one  from  that  time  forward.  I  simply 
defied  him,  however,  and  left  him  to  make  what 
discoveries  and  reports  he  could  during  my  connec- 
tion with'the  college.. 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  joined  the  Jefferson  Society,  which  was  then 
the  largest  and  most  respectable  in  the  University, 
and  I  took  great  pleasure  in  listening  to  and  par- 
ticipating in  its  debates.  Its  annual  celebration 
was  held  on  the  13th  of  April,  and  consisted  in 
the  reading  of  the  ''Declaration  of  Independence," 
preceded  by  brief  introductory  remarks,  and  in  the 
delivery  of  an  oration.  I  had  the  satisfaction  of 
being  elected  "reader"  for  this  session — which 
was  considered  one  of  the  honors  of  college  and  was 
much  sought  after.  I  cannot  recall  what  I  had  to 
say  on  that  occasion  or  even  who  delivered  the  ora- 
tion. I  only  know  that  our  friends — according  to 
immemorial  usage — complimented  us  on  the  suc- 
cess of  our  respective  efforts,  and  that  we  were  very 
proud  of  being  en  vue  at  the  time.  I  am  proud 
also  to  say  that  I  had  subsequently  the  honor  of 
filling  its  presidential  chair,  and  of  delivering  its 
valedictory  oration — but  of  this  I  shall  speak  more 
fully  hereafter. 

After  my  second  session  at  the^  University  I 
spent  a  year  at  home,  engaged  nominally  in  the 
study  of  medicine,  but  really  in  regretting  the  cir- 
cumstances which  constrained  me  to  adopt  it  as  a 

These  circumstances  will  be  made  more  clear  to 
your  mind  after  you  have  read  attentively  the  fol- 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  107 

lo win 2:  substance  of  a  conversation  which  occurred 
between  my  father  and  myself  at  the  time. 

Father:  ^' You  did  well  at  the  University,  Ed- 
ward, and  I  am  delighted  with  your  success  there. 
You  have  reached  an  age  when  you  should  com- 
mence the  study  of  your  profession,  and  after  you 
have  had  a  holiday  and  have  rested  thoroughly,  you 
must  go  regularly  to  work  and  prepare  j^ourself  to 
help  me.  All  the  necessary  books  are  in  my  library, 
and  I  shall  take  pleasure  in  pointing  out  a  course 
of  study  for  you.     What  do  you  say  to  it?" 

Son:  ^'I  am  ready  to  begin  my  professional 
studies  to-morrow,  but  I  did  not  know  that  you 
were  the  possessor  of  any  law  books,  father,  or  that 
yon  could  indicate  a  course  of  Ugal  study." 

Father:  "What  do  you  mean?  Study  law! 
Why,  T  have  intended  that  you  should  be  a  doctor 
froiH  the  clay  you  were  born.  It  has  been  the 
dream  and  purpose  of  my  life  to  have  you  assist 
and  afterward  succeed  me  in  my  professional  "work. 
I  cannot  consent  to  your  becoming  a  lawyer ;  it 
Avould  break  my  heart." 

Son:  "  Please  don't  put  it  in  that  way.  I  love 
you  too  dearly  to  annoy  or  displease  you.  I  would 
be  a  blacksmith  or  anything  else  if  you  really  de- 
sired it  and  had  set  your  heart  on  it ;  but  I  must 
tell  you  frankly  that  I  have  no  taste  for  medicine, 
and  that  the  first  wish  of  my  heart  is  to  study  law. ' ' 

Father:  "  Don't  like  medicine?  What  has  pre- 
judiced you  against  it?" 

Son  :  "I  am  prejudiced  against  it,  and  I  would 
rather  go  into  the  fields  and  hoe  corn  than  become 
a  doctor."  , 

Father:  ''You  amaze  me,  Edward.  What  has 
prejudiced  you  against  medicine?  What  are  your 
reasons  for  wishing  to  repudiate  it  and  thereby  to 
pain  me?" 

108  A  doctor's  experiences 

Son:  "I  would  not  distress  you  for  Mr.  John- 
stone's fortune.  I  will  be  or  rather  try  to  be  what- 
ever you  propose — whatever  will  conduce  to  your 
happiness.  Make  up  your  mind  to  that  much. 
But  let  me  tell  you  whv  I  do  not  wish  to  be  a  doc- 

Father:  "  Gro  on.  You  have  always  given  me 
your  fullest  confidence." 

Son  :  ■•  I  do  not  wish  to  become  a  doctor  because  as 
your  son  I  have  an  opportunity  of  knowing  exactly 
what  a  physician's  life  is.  I  have  seen  you  sac- 
rifice your  comfort,  pleasures,  health,  and  every- 
thing to  your  patients — visiting  them  in  the  storms 
of  winter  and  the  heat  of  summer,  when  you  were 
ill,  when  your  family  needed  your  services,  and 
when  every  one  else  was  ^taking  a  rest.'  And 
with  what  results?  Only  these  :  to  be  made  pre- 
maturely old  without  having  accumulated  an  inde- 
pendence ;  to  liear  much  talk  about  gratitude  and 
to  see  but  little  practical  manifestation  of  it ;  to  be 
held  responsible  for  results  which  in  the  nature  of 
things  would  be  inevitable  ;  to  be  calumniated  by 
jealous  rivals  and  betrayed  by  pretended  friends  ; 
to  be  worried  by  the  whims,  prejudices  and  conceits 
of  patients  who  have  been  snatched  from  the  jaws 
of  death  by  your  ready  skill  and  patient  nursing, 
and  to  be  treated  with  the  basest  indifference  in  re- 
turn for  hours  of  anxiety,  watchfulness  and  self- 
sacrifice  when  the  danger  had  passed  and  the 
grave  had  been  robbed  of  its  victim.  Do  you  not 
remember  your  experience  with  H.,  every  member 
of  whose  family  had  malignant  diphtheria,  and 
one  died  during  convalescence  from  over-feeding^ 
and  how  they  censured  and  insulted  you  for  not 
letting  them  know  from  the  first  that  the  child 
would  die?  Have  you  forgotten  Mrs.  R.,  who  in- 
sisted that  you  should  visit  her  so  often  at  night. 


after  her  balls,  dinners,  theaters,  parties,  etc.,  and 
then  permitted  your  bill  to  remain  unpaid  for  years, 
although  she  spent  a  'mint'  annually  on  dress 
and  on  entertainments?  Have  you  no  recollection  of 
old  W.j  who  declared  that  you  had  ^saved  him  from 
the  grave,'  until  he  was  called  upon  for  a  settle- 
ment, when  he  veered  round  and  proclaimed  you  a 
quack,  insisted  that  you  had  charged  for  a  greater 
number  of  visits  than  he  had  received,  and  finally 
attempted  to  run  off  without  paying  you  anything? 
Now,  it  is  true  that  yo'u  have  reared  your  children 
in  comfort,  and  have  been  able  to  give  each  a  good 
education  ;  that  you  are  acknowledged  to  be  the 
leading  physician  in  this  section  of  the  country  ; 
that  yuur  credit  at  the  bank  is  as  good  as  that  of 
the  richest  man  in  the  town  ;  and  that  if  you  were 
to  die  to-morrow  your  patrons  would  mourn  your 
loss  as  a  personal  calamity  and  talk  of  nothing  but 
your  triumphs  and  virtues  ;  but,  I  ask  you,  is  a  life 
-'worth  living'  which  has  in  it  so  many  cloudy 
days  and  so  few  sunshiny  ones?  Ought  a  uian  with 
his  eyes  open  to  choose  a  profession  with  which 
such  annoyances  and  outrages  as  these  are  neces- 
sarily connected,  whatever  of  honor  or  glory  or 
recompense  of  any  kind  it  may  bring?  In  my 
judgment,  when  a  man  becomes  a  doctor  he  sells 
himself  to  slavery,  and  that,  too,  of  the  most  hu- 
miliating and  painful  character.  There  then  re- 
main as  alternatives  the  ministry  and  the  law,  and 
as  I  do  not  feel  that  I  am  called  to  the  former  I  am 
constrained  to  choose  the  latter  as  a  matter  of  ne- 
cessity. Doctor  iVIcGuffy  told  me  that  I  had  just 
the  qualities  of  mind  to  make  a  successful  jurist, 
and  my  taste  runs  strongly  in  that  direction,  as 

Father  :   "  There  is  a  great  deal  of  truth  in  what 
you  say  ;  the  life  of  a  doctor  is  a  hard  and  thankless 

110  A  doctor's  experiences 

one  unless  he  is  actuated  by  higher  principles  than 
those  which  'ordinarily  influence  humanity.  A 
doctor's  only  refuge  is  in  the  cultivation  of  a  senti- 
ment which  lifts  him  above  the  consequences  and 
the  considerations  which  you  mention^  and  makes  a 
sense  of  duty  at  once  the  source  of  his  inspira- 
tions and  the  measure  of  his  recompense.  The 
incidents  to  which  you  refer  were  disgraceful 
enough,  and  they  furnish  sufficient  evidence  of 
the  inherent  depravity  of  human  nature;  but 
they  have  produced  no  impression  upon  my 
mind  beyond  a  feeling  of  regret  and  sorrow  iur 
their  authors.  Having  done  that  which  I  knew  to- 
be  my  duty,  I  have  left  these  ungrateful  creatures 
to  their  own  devices,  and  to  all  the  satisfaction 
which  thev  could  derive  from  them.  Life  is  too 
short  for  anything  else  than  the  simple  performance 
of  dut}' — for  doing  that  which  conscience  and 
judgment  unite  in  approving — and  then  in  letting- 
things  take  their  own  course,  relying  upon  God's 
justice  to  bring  them  right  in  the  end.  Calumny 
is  but  the  tribute  which  every  honest  and  success- 
ful man  has  to  pay  to  jealousy  and  failure,  and  the 
higher  he  climbs  and  the  stronger  he  shows  him- 
self the  heavier  is  the  artillery  which  the  vicious- 
and  the  malignant  bring  to  bear  upon  him.  Many 
shameful  things  have  been  said  of  me  in  my  time, 
but,  clothed  in  the  consciousness  of  rectitude,  I 
have  suffered  them  to  pass  as  'the  idle  wind,'  and 
have  tried  to  let  my  daily  walk  answer  and  refute 
them.  With  your  proud  and  over-sensitive  nature, 
my  son,  you  would  experience  as  many  annoyances 
and  disappointments  in  connection  with  the  practice 
of  one  profession  as  another — with  law  equally  with 
medicine — unless  you  determined  in  the  premiss 
to  rise  superior  to  personal  consideration  and  to 
live  only  for  the  discharge  of  the  trust  appertaining 


to  your  chosen  callinoj,  without  considering  whether 
the  world  censures  or  applauds  you.  Man  is  a 
selfish  and  ungrateful  animal,  and  he  shows  these 
qualities  to  all  who  are  forced  into  intimate  relations 
with  him,  whether  medical,  legal,  ministerial, 
or  what  not.  As  to  growing  rich  on  the  practice 
of  medicine,  it  is  a  difficult  matter  to  do  so,  I  ad- 
mit, even  under  the  most  favorable  circumstances. 
Gratitude  expires  with  returning  health  ;  the  most 
honest  men  shrink  from  the  payment  of  a  doctor's 
bill  and  always  believe  that  they  have  been  over- 
charged ;  and  the  physician  with  but  little  practice 
fears  to  importune  his  clients,  and  the  successful 
one  has  not  the  time  to  do  so.  A  thousand  circum- 
stances, in  fact,  intervene  to  limit  professional  in- 
comes, as  well  as  to  preclude  a  medical  man  from 
amassing  great  wealth,  and  yet  a  large  majority  of 
the  profession  make  respectable  livings,  and  are  able 
to  supply  personal  comforts  and  educational  ad- 
vantagi;es  to  their  children.  It  is  better,  if  one  has 
to  work,  that  he  should  not  be  supplied  too  liberally 
with  money,  as  an  independence  is  calculated  to 
render  him  more  indifferent  to  the  discharge  of  his 
professional  duties.  Wealth  in  fact  '  handicaps' 
the  doctor,  and  comes  between  him  and  the  best 
interests  of  the  sick  and  suffering.  If  you  should 
study  law,  I  know  you  would  make  a  good  lawyer^ 
because  your  ambition  would  prompt  you  to  master 
it,  as  your  knowledge  of  it  would  necessarily  have 
to  be  put  to  a  public  test.  Indeed,  I  believe  you 
would  make  a  great  lawyer,  for,  together  with  that 
immense  fund  of  pride  which  seems  to  have  been 
born  in  you,  you  have  an  acute  and  logical  mind. 
But,  my  dear  son^  there  are  two  dangers  which 
would  threaten  you  throughout  your  career.  Your 
sensitiveness  would  lead  you  into  endless  alterca- 
tions, and  your  life  might  be  sacrificed  in  some  un- 

112  A  doctor's  experiences 

necessary  affair  of  honor,  while  your  gifts  as  an 
orator  would  almost  certainly  carry  you  into  poli- 
tics, which,  according  to  my  observation,  is  the  most 
profitless  and  demoralizing  of  occupations.  Dr. 
McGuflfy,  with  all  his  genius^  only  took  an  in- 
complete view  of  the  situation  when  he  advised  you 
to  study  law  upon  the  ground  that  your  talents 
fitted  you  exclusively  for  success  in  that  profession. 
It  is  true  that  any  man  can  be  a  doctor  as  doctors 
go^  and  by  carefully  '  hugging  tlie  shore'  and  fol- 
lowing faithfully  ^  the  chart '  may  even  prove 
more  successful  in  securing  patronage  than  those 
who  are  his  superiors  in  intellect  and  knowledge  ; 
but  it  is  equally  true  that  to  become  a  great  physi- 
cian— a  shining  and  enduring  light  in  the  world 
of  medicine — there  is  required  as  much  power  of 
generalization,  subtlety  of  analysis,  accuracy  in  the 
application  of  principles,  and  readiness  in  the  use 
of  knowledge  as  for  corresponding  success  in  tlie. 
law  or  in  any  other  calling.  Yjur  objections,  my 
son,  are  not  well  taken,  and  they  should  not  out- 
weigh the  graver  reasons  which  present  themselves 
for  the  choice  of  medicine  as  your  profession.  I  am 
getting  old,  Edward,  and  I  need  your  help.  You 
have  only  to  assist  me  for  a  few  years  and  then  to 
fall  heir  to  the  fine  business  which  I  have  been  so 
long  in  building  up,  not  more  for  myself  than  for 
you — for  the  son  that  I  have  hoped  and  believed 
would  follow  in  my  footsteps." 

Son:  "Your  arguments,  father,  are  potent,  but 
they  do  not  convince  my  judgment,  because  my 
opinions  have  been  the  growth  of  years  of  observa- 
tion and  reflection.  I  do  not  wish  to  be  a  doctor, 
and  I  do  most  earnestly  desire  to  study  law  ;  but 
after  what  you  have  said,  I  beg  you  to  consider  the 
matter  settled.  I  will  go  to  work  on  the  'dry- 
bones'  whenever  you  say  the  word." 


Father:  ^'I  am  delighted  to  hear  yon  say  that, 
my  son,  and  I  shall  love  you  all  the  more  for  the 
sacrifice  of  inclination  which  you  have  made — a 
sacrifice  which  I  would  not  accept  if  I  did  not 
know  it  to  be  for  your  own  best  interests.  You 
have  worked  hard;  go  where  you  please,  enjoy 
yourself  for  the  summer,  and  settle  down  to  work 
in  the  autumn." 

So  the  matter  was  definitely  settled  and  my  des- 
tiny determined.  No  words  can  convey  an  idea  of 
the  real  pain  which  the  conclusion  occasioned  me. 
In  a  moment  the  dreams  of  my  whole  life  were 
dashed  to  the  ground,  and  in  their  stead  a  plan 
was  substituted  which  I  had  always  regarded  with 
detestation  and  abhorrence.  With  me  everything 
is  steadfast  and  enduring  ;  my  feelings  and  pur- 
poses are  forged  of  iron.  It  is  a  matter  almost  of 
impossibility  for  the  currents  of  my  nature  to  be 
turned  from  their  wonted  courses,  and  I  cannot 
surrender  my  opinions  even  in  compliance  with 
the  dictates  of  better  judgments  and  the  exactions 
of  altered  circumstances.  Barker,  the  phrenolo- 
gist, whose  knowledge  of  human  character  amounts 
almost  to  an  inspiration,  said  of  me  years  ago: 
^'  This  is  the  most  obstinate  of  human  beings  ;  for 
him  to  surrender  his  purposes  is  almost  an  impos- 
sibility." I  have  found  his  opinion  to  be  abso- 
lutely true,  and  to  my  sorrow  and  regret,  as  no 
one  knows  better  than  yourself.  It  has  been  diffi- 
cult for  me  to  yield  even  to  the  fiat  of  the  Al- 
mighty; while  discipline  of  every  kind  has  seemed 
only  a  form  of  coercion,  against  which  my  spirit 
has  ever  risen  in  rebellion. 

So  gloomy  and  despondent  a  state  of  mind  was 
developed  because  of  this  almost  enforced  abandon- 
ment of  my  long-cherished  purpose  to  study  law 
that  for  an  entire  year  my  intellect  seemed  to  lose 

114  A  doctor's  experiences 

its  grasp — to  possess  neither  susceptibility  nor  te- 
nacity— and  1  made  such  indifferent  progress  in 
the  acquirement  of  medical  knowledge  that  my 
father  became  seriously  apprehensive  lest  I  might 
never  succeed  in  obtaining  a  diploma.  My  heart 
consented  to  the  change  of  plan,  but  my  brain  ab- 
solutely refused  to  follow  its  lead  and  to  respond  to> 
its  suggestions. 

Exactly  the  same  thing  occurred  to  the  Hon. 
Robert  H.  Smith,  one  of  the  most  distinguished 
lawyers  the  South  has  produced.  He  was  born 
and  reared  in  Edenton,  and  on  attaining  his  ma- 
jority his  friends  insisted  that  he  should  study 
medicine — against  his  inclinations — and  he  en- 
tered my  father's  office  for  that  purpose.  He  came 
regularly,  pored  over  his  books,  and  seemed  ab- 
sorbed in  them,  but,  when  questioned  in  regard  to 
their  contents,  he  could  make  no  response — he 
showed  that  he  knew  absolutely  nothing  about 
them.  After  some  months  he  abandoned  the  study 
of  medicine  in  disgust,  went  to  Alabama,  studied 
law,  and  became  one  of  the  most  noted  jurists  and 
distinguished  statesmen  in  the  country. 

Finding  that  1  made  no  progress — that  after  a 
year's  study  I  could  describe  no  single  bone  in  the 
human  body — m}'  father  sent  me  to  the  medical 
school  connected  with  the  University  of  Virginia, 
but  with  many  apprehensions  as  to  the  result  of 
the  experiment. 

Upon  my  arrival  there  my  friends  scarcely  knew 
me.  They  said  that  I  had  grown  prematurely  old 
and  had  lost  all  that  vivacity  of  spirit  which  had 
characterized  me  in  other  days.  I  attended  lec- 
tures faithfully  and  tried  hard  to  learn,  but  when- 
ever called  up  for  recitation  I  invariably  made  an 
inglorious  failure  and  came  out  of  the  lecture  room 
utterly  despondent  and  disgusted. 


This  went  on  for  about  four  months,  when  an 
event  occurred  which  had  a  marked  influence  upon 
my  college  career  and  placed  me  at  the  head  of 
my  class  from  that  time  forward,  to  the  astonish- 
ment of  those  who,  forgetting  the  triumphs  of 
other  sessions,  had  measured  me  by  the  failures  of 
this  one. 

The  medical  class  of  that  year  organized  a  so- 
ciety for  the  purpose  of  discussing  medical  subjects 
and  of  having  an  oration  delivered  in  public  at  the 
end  of  the  session.  As  I  had  some  talent  for  talk- 
ing, my  friends  "put  me  up"  as  a  candidate  for 
"final  orator,"  as  they  termed  the  student  who 
was  to  appear  in  public  at  commencement.  They 
considered  my  election  certain,  but  on  the  night 
appointed  to  decide  the  matter  my  opponents  in- 
troduced twelve  new  members,  and  I  was  de- 
feated by  a  majority  of  three  votes.  This  trick 
produced  so  profound  a  feeling  of  indignation  in 
my  bosom  and  among  my  supporters,  that  we  all 
resigned  and  left  the  society  in  the  hands  of  the 
hostile  party. 

Its  effect  upon  me  was  magical.  The  principal 
argument  used  in  the  canvass  was  that  the  man 
selected  to  represent  the  society  should  be  one  who 
was  likely  to  graduate  in  medicine  and  that  I  stood 
no  chance  of  doing  so.  I  therefore  determined  to 
graduate,  and  to  show  my  adversaries  that  they  had 
made  a  mistake  in  their  calculations  ;  and  I  called  a 
meeting  of  my  friends,  thanked  them  for  their  sup- 
port, and  informed  them  of  my  determination. 
They  unanimously  advised  against  the  attempt, 
urging  that  it  was  difficult  to  graduate  in  a  single 
session  even  if  one  came  well  posted  and  then 
studied  faithfully  for  the  entire  term,  whereas 
the  very  opposite  v/as  true  in  m}^  case.  But  their 
advice  had  no  effect  upon  my  mind  ;  for  my  pride 

116  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  ambition  were  excited,  and  I  felt  that  I  had 
rather  die  than  fail  to  make  the  venture,  and  to  suc- 
ceed in  it  as  well.  I  went  immediately  to  the  dean 
of  the  faculty,  and  asked  his  consent  to  become  a 
candidate,  explaining  the  circumstances  under  which 
the  application  was  made.  He  informed  me  that 
the  rules  of  the  college  required  a  ^'  notification  to 
the  faci:{lty  in  writing  early  in  the  session,"  but 
that  he  would  strain  a  point  and  make  an  excep- 
tion in  my  case — so  that  1  entered  the  list  as  a 
candidate  for  the  degree. 

For  fiye  months  I  studied  sixteen  hours  daily, 
thinking  only  of  success,  and  sacrificing  every 
other  consideration  to  it  ;  and  I  had  the  satisfac- 
tion of  coming  out  victorious  in  the  end — of  walk- 
ing up  on  commencement  day  by  the  side  of  my 
competitor  and  I'eceiving  the  diploma  of  doctor  of 
medicine  of  the  University  of  Virginia.  The  ap- 
plause with  which  my  enthusiastic  friends  filled 
the  rotunda  on  that  occasion  was  deafening;  but  it 
was  the  sweetest  music  that  had  ever  reached  my 
ear,  and  it  amply  repaid  me  for  all  the  long  hours 
of  labor  and  anxiety  which  I  had  devoted  to  the 
task  of  "  getting  even  '"'  with  the  ^Esculapian  So- 

But  my  victory  did  not  end  with  the  degree. 
The  Jefferson  Society — the  oldest  and  most  honor- 
able of  the  college — having  a  vacancy  to  fill,  and 
appreciating  the  circumstances  of  the  case,  selected 
me  as  its  valedictorian  for  that  session.  As  this 
was  esteemed  the  honor  of  the  college,  you  can 
appreciate  the  kind  feeling  which  prompted  those 
who  sought  to  advance  me,  and  understand  how  it 
gratified  my  heart  and  consummated  my  triumph. 

I  wrote  my  address  in  a  single  night — after  hav- 
ing heard  the  result  of  the  examination — and 
though  neither  so  concise  nor  coherent  as  it  might 


have  been,  it  was  brim  full  of  enthusiasm  and  my 
friends  thought  it  splendid. 

Thus  it  was  that  disaster  was  transformed  into 
triumph,  and  that  a  night  of  darkness  and  disap- 
pointment was  succeeded  by  a  morning  of  sunshine 
and  rejoicing. 

During  all  this  time  I  had  never  informed  my 
father  of  my  purpose,  and  when  I  returned  home 
he  w^as  perfectly  ignorant  of  what  I  had  under- 
taken and  accomplished.  In  response  to  his  in- 
quiries, I  opened  my  trunk,  and,  without  a  word 
of  explanation,  placed  the  ''diploma"  and  the 
"  programme  of  the  final  exercises  "  in  his  hands. 
In  a  moment  tears  of  joy  were  coursing  down  his 
cheeks,  and  clasping  me  in  his  arms,  he  murmured, 
"  Thank  you,  my  son,"  in  tones  of  such  tender  and 
touching  pathos  as  have  proved  a  perennial  source 
of  pride  and  pleasure  to  my  heart.  I  thanked 
God  for  my  defeat  in  the  ^sculapian  Society 
since  ;  but  for  that  disappointment  I  should  have 
passed  the  session  in  "  inglorious  ease,"  and  have 
burne  off  no  trophies  with  which  to  delight  the 
soul  of  that  great  and  good  old  man. 

Pari  2^cissu  with  the  study  of  medicine,  there  was 
developed  in  me  a  love  for  it  which  has  ever  since 
been  a  part  of  my  being,  growing  with  each  year 
of  my  existence  and  controlling  and  directing  my 
entire  life. 

The  University  of  Virginia  possesses  no  clinical 
advantages,  and  though  thoroughly  grounded  in 
the  principles  of  medicine,  I  was  profoundly  igno- 
rant of  disease  save  as  it  was  described  in  the  text 

Hence  it  was  that  I  concluded  to  visit  Philadel- 
phia during  the  coming  winter,  and  sought  in  the 
mean  time  to  acquaint  myself  with  the  practical  de- 
tails of  medicine  at  home. 


My  father  owned  a  negro  man  nanaed  William, 
who  had  been  raised  in  his  office  and  to  whom  I 
am  indebted  for  much  assistance  in  the  outset  of 
my  career.  Possessing  great  natural  intelligence, 
and  having  taught  himself  to  read  and  write,  he 
managed  to  acquire  a  considerable  knowledge  of 
medicine,  while  as  a  cupper,  leecher,  and  tooth- 
extracter  he  was  unusually  skillful.  At  the  same 
time,  he  was  the  most  pompous  of  darkeys,  and  with 
his  bald  head,  his  erect  carriao:e.  his  lono'  black 
coat,  his  faultless  collar,  and  his  redundance  of 
technical  terms,  he  was  the  very  type  of  the  old- 
tashioned  "country  doctor."  He  prided  himself 
on  being  ''a  gentleman  of  qualit}^,"  and  in  suavity 
of  manner,  scrupulous  politeness,  and  freedom  from 
guile  he  was  the  equal  of  any  man  who  claimed 
that  title.  And  yet,  to  his  superiors,  he  was  al- 
ways the  most  humble,  respectful  and  obedient  of 
servants,  never  forgetting  his  place  nor  neglecting 
any  duty  which  his  lot  in  life  imposed.  His  am- 
bition did  not  confine  itself  to  the  •'  shop,"  but  as- 
pired to  the ''pulpit,"  as  well.  He  preached  or 
prayed  in  the  meeting-house  every  Sunday,  and  he 
occupied  all  the  leisure  at  his  command  during  the 
week  in  preparing  the  "exhortation"  or  "petition 
to  the  throne"  as  he  designated  his  ministerial  ef- 
forts. This  preparation  consisted  in  culling  from 
Webster's  dictionary  and  the  medical  works  in 
my  father's  library  the  longest  and  most  strictly 
technical  words  that  he  could  find,  which,  when 
the  momentous  occasion  arrived,  he  distributed 
through  his  discourse  without  regard  to  the  perti- 
nency or  to  the  comprehension  of  his  auditors. 
Despite  this  indulgence  in  "high  dicto" — the 
negro's  term  for  language  which  is  beyond  ordi- 
nary comprehension — his  discourses  abounded  in 
much  hard  sense  and  true  religious  fervor,  while 


tliev  were  delivered  with  an  unction  which  would 
have  done  credit  to  any  bishop  in  the  land.  At 
any  rate,  whether  his  high-flown  terms  were  un- 
derstood or  not,  his  efforts  were  accepted  by  ^'  the 
-congregation"  as  masterpieces  of  eloquence^  and 
neither  Bossuet  nor  Fenelon  ever  received  an  in- 
finitesimal part  of  the  homage  which  was  lavished 
upon  him.  Notwithstanding  his  pomposity  and 
the  superabundant  supply  of  vanity  with  which 
nature  had  endowed  him,  no  kinder  or  truer  heart 
than  his  ever  beat  in  a  human  bosom.  He  loved 
those  to  whom  he  belonged  with  a  fervor  and  with 
Sj  steadfastness  which  stood  the  test  of  every  pos'si- 
ble  trial  and  temptation.  When  "escape  from 
bondage"  was  the  watchword  of  his  race,  and  free- 
dom was  easily  in  his  reach,  he  remained  quietly 
-at  his  post,  as  humble  and  as  faithful  as  if  no 
"  proclamation  "  existed.  When  liberty  was  posi- 
tively forced  upon  him,  he  sought  no  employment 
aw\ay  from  home  until  urged  to  do  so  in  his  own 
interest,  and  he  brought  the  first  fruits  of  his  labor 
and  proposed  to  devote  them  to  the  support  of  those 
whom  he  loved  so  well.  And  ever  since,  whenever 
the  occasion  has  offered,  he  has  never  failed  to 
manifest  the  most  profound  respect  and  the  tender- 
est  affection  for  his  "old  master  and  mistress,"  as 
he  still  delights  to  call  them. 

In  view  of  these  facts,  and  of  many  others  of  a 
kindred  nature,  it  is  impossible  for  me  to  take  into 
consideration  the  color  of  his  skin  or  the  quality  of 
his  blood,  and  I  can  only  feel  toward  him  as  a 
friend  and  brother — as  one  to  whom  the  best  affec- 
tions of  my  heart  are  due,  and  with  whom  I  would 
gladly  share  my  last  crust  and  my  bottom  dollar. 

It  is  a  little  singular  that  another  man  of  the 
same  name,  race  and  character  should  have  been 
linked  with  my  destiny  for  nearly  twenty  years  in 

120  A  doctor's  experiences 

the  capacity  of  a  servant,  but  really  in  the  relation 
of  a  friend,  and  a  most  devoted  and  faithful  one,  as 
you  know  full  well.  Of  him,  however,  I  shall  speak 
more  fully  io  another  portion  of  this  narrative. 

I  cannot  refrain  from  saying  in  this  connection 
that  I  pride  myself  on  being  a  friend  of  the  negroes; 
for,  in  my  judgment,  they  possess  some  excellent 
traits  of  character  and  compare  favorably  in  many 
important  respects  with  their  more  pretentious 
brothers.  The  conduct  of  the  slaves  of  the  South 
— and  I  speak  from  my  own  observation  and  ex- 
perience— during  the  war  between  the  sections, 
was  admirable  beyond  precedent  or  parallel. 

While  a  conflict  was  waging  which  was  to  decide 
the  question  of  their  emancipation  or  the  perpetu- 
ation of  their  bondage,  they  remained  apparently 
disinterested  spectators  of  the  scene,  laboring  with 
their  wonted  fidelity,  and  protecting  the  wives  and 
children  of  their  masters,  who  were  really  fight- 
ing against  their  most  essential  interests.  Greater 
docility,  devotion  to  duty,  and  disregard  of  selfish 
considerations  were  never  chronicled  before  in  the 
history  of  humanity.  Their  conduct  in  this  con- 
nection teaches,  however,  one  significant  lesson 
which  it  is  important  to  remember:  it  shows  that 
notwithstanding  the  evils  which  necessarily  asso- 
ciated themselves  with  the  '^  peculiar  institution," 
the  relations  between  their  masters  and  themselves 
were  not  illustrated  by  acts  of  cruelty  on  the  one 
side  and  by  a  spirit  of  vindictiveness  on  the  other 
as  so  much  ink  has  been  consumed  in  the  attempt  ta 

The  abolition  of  slavery  is  not  to  be  regretted, 
even  by  those  who  lost  so  heavily  in  the  premises. 
Previous  to  the  war  the  negroes  of  the  South  were 
certainly  better  fed,  clothed,  and  cared  for  than 
the  laborers  of  any^other  country  under   the  sun, 


and  their  masters  were,  consequently,  subjected  to 
a  heavier  expense,  and  were  more  fettered  by  re- 
sponsibilities and  obligations  than  their  employers 
have  been  since  or  can  possibly  be  again.  In  those 
days  labor  consumed  nearly  all  that  it  produced, 
leaving  but  a  small  margin  tor  the  luxuries  of 
liie  and  adding  nothing  to  capital  save  in  the  mul- 
tiplication of  itself — in  the  augmented  value  of 
slave  property  from  the  natural  law  of  increase. 
Under  the  present  order  of  things  the  agricultur- 
ists of  the  South — those  who  formerly  owned  slaves 
—  gain  in  two  ways,  viz.,  by  the  greater  amount  of 
work  done  in  a  given  time,  and  by  the  smaller 
amount  of  money,  expended  upon  labor  ;  for  the 
young,  the  old,  and  the  infirm  have  now  to  shift 
for  themselves  without  being  a  tax  upon  their  mas- 
ters, as  they  were  in  other  days. 

Since  the  war  their  conduct  has  on  the  whole 
been  good,  the  only  exception  being  in  such  in- 
stances as  they  have  been  influenced  by  bad  ad- 
visers. They  certainly  have  shown  that  they  have 
had  no  special  wrongs  to  redress,  as  would  have  been 
the  case  had  the  stories  told  in  "  Uncle  Tom's 
Cabin  "  and  similar  romances  been  anything  else 
than  pure  inventions^  concocted  for  party  purposes. 
Indeed,  the  legislation  of  the  country,  influenced 
as  it  has  been  by  the  abolitionists  exclusively,  in 
immediately  investing  the  freedmen  with  the  fran- 
chise, furnishes  a  complete  answer  to  the  charges 
of  cruelty  and  inhumanity  which  have  been 
made  against  their  former  masters  ;  for  had  the 
negroes  been  the  degraded  creatures  which  such  a 
system  would  necessarily  have  rendered  them, 
their  elevation  to  the  prerogatives  of  citizenship 
would  have  inevitably  proved  a  disaster  to  the  Re- 
public— depending  as  it  does  for  its  very  existence 
upon  the  intelligence  and  virtue  of  its  citizens. 

122  A  doctor's  experiences 

That  they  are  naturally  kind  and  sympathetic 
when  left  to  themselves,  I  know  from  my  own  ex- 

When  I  returned  to  Edenton  after  the  surrender, 
rained  in  fortune,  shattered  in  health,  and  scarce 
knowing  where  to  turn  for  refuge,  the  friends  who 
rallied  around  me  were  the  negroes,  to  whom,  in 
more  j^^osperous  times,  my  professional  services 
had  been  rendered.  While  others,  who  were  under 
every  possible  obligation  on  that  account,  seemed 
to  forget  my  existence  or  arrayed  themselves  with 
my  enemies,  these  poor  creatures  overwhelmed  me 
with  expressions  of  sympathy  and  proofs  of  friend- 

Theirs  was  not  that  species  of  gratitude  which 
quickens  under  the  stimulus  of  anticipated  favors, 
for  I  was  penniless  and  powerless  in  those  dreary 
days,  and  their  kindness  to  me  and  mine  were 
naught  else  than  the  natural  outflowings  of  real 
humanity — a  spontaneous  tribute  from  that  gen- 
uine loyalty  which  the  God  of  nature  has  planted  in 
their  bosoms. 

My  first  patient  was  an  old  negro  by  the  name 
of  Harry  Jones,  who  came  to  the  office  suffering 
from  an  aching  tooth,  and  praying  for  its  extraction 
— for  there  were  no  dentists  in  those  parts  at  the 
time,  and  physicians  were  compelled  to  act  as  their 
substitutes  so  far  as  minor  operations  were  con- 
cerned. Unfortunately,  my  education  had  been 
neglected  in  that  particular,  and  I  should  have 
been  less  embarrassed  had  the  operation  been  an 

I  was  therefore  only  too  happy  to  fall  back  upon 
the  advice  and  assistance  of  William,  the  negro 
man  to  whom  I  have  already  referred.  While 
pretending  to  examine  the  tooth,  he  yery  quietly 
directed  me  how  to  apply  and  manipulate  the  in- 


strument,  and  I  then  went  to  work  in  accordance, 
and,  as  I  thought,  with  the  instructions  which  he 
had  given  me.  In  response  to  a  powerful  wrench 
out  flew  hoo  teeth  upon  the  floor — the  one  wliich  I 
had  proposed  to  extract  and  its  nearest  neighbor. 
Overwhelmed  with  confusion  at  this  unexpected 
result^  I  was  seeking  to  frame  some  excuse  for  my 
awkwardness,  when  old  Harry  exclaimed,  as  he 
gathered  up  the  teeth  and  thrust  them  into  his 
pocket:  ''Thank  de  Lord  !  you've  got  um  bofe  at 
a  pop.  How  in  de  gracious,  boss,  did  you  know 
dat , sometimes  one  ake  as  bad  as  de  toder?  Bofe 
out  at  a  clip  !  did  you  ever  hearn  of  the  like.  Hur- 
rah for  Mars  Edurd!" 

"That  is  a  new  style  of  tooth  pulling,  old  man," 
said  I,  taking  the  cue,  "and  it  was  never  per- 
formed before  in  this  country." 

"  Those  masticators  won't  disturb  you  in  the 
hereafter,"  chimed  in  my  good  friend  William  ; 
^'  and  you  ought  to  be  mighty  grateful  for  getting 
them  both  eradicated  at  one  evolution  of  the  cor- 
pus. My  young  master's  got  real  gumption,  and 
he  don't  take  two  bites  at  a  cherry,  nor  at  a 
tooth  either,  Uncle  Harry." 

The  old  fellow  gathered  himself  up  and  went  on 
his  way  rejoicing  ;  and  telling  the  story  far  and 
wide  of  my  wonderful  "  gumption"  and  dexterity, 
I  suddenly  found  myself  famed  throughout  that 
part  of  the  country  as  a  tooth -puller.  Thus  it  is 
that  "great  streams  from  little  fountains  flow" 
and  that  a  man  often  reaps  more  than  he  sows  or 
counts  upon,  both  of  good  and  of  evil. 

My  reputation  as  an  oculist  soon  became  as  great 
as  my  fame  as  a  dentist,  and  on  grounds  hardly 
more  substantial. 

A  young  woman  named.  Betsey  Miller,  who  re- 
sided in  "  Cowpen-neck"  and  had  the  reputation 

124  A  doctor's  experiences 

of  possessing  the  longest  tongue  in  the  county, 
came  to  me  for  the  treatment  of  her  eyes.  She  was 
suffering  from  ophthalmia,  and  had  been  treated  by 
a  numt)er  of  physicians  who  had  failed  to  cure  her 
— doubtless  because  they  became  weary  of  her 
^'jaw,"  and  gave  up  the  case.  Having  succeeded 
in  curing  her,  for  the  reason  that,  as  a  beginner,  I 
took  more  pains  to  succeed,  she  asked  William  one 
day  to  tell  her  exactly  what  I  had  done,  so  that 
she  might  be  prepared  for  any  other  attack.  As 
with  all  his  fantastic  ways  he  had  plenty  of  fun  in 
him,  he  replied,  •'  Well,  Mistress  Miller,  it's 
against  the  rules  of  our  profession  to  discourse  on 
such  scientific  matters  with  outsiders,  but  I  will 
make  a  deception  with  you.  Master  Edward,  you 
see,  is  a  great  ocuologist,  and  he  can  do  strange 
and  multitudinous  things  in  visual  surgery,  so  he 
just  slipped  your  eyes  out  of  their  sockets,  washed 
them  with  a  pharmaceutical  lotion,  and  returned 
them  to  their  normal  position,  sound  and  well.  It 
is  a  wonderful  recuperation  that  he  has  made,  Mis- 
tress Miller,  and  you  ought  to  be  mighty  gratui- 
tous for  it,  I  can  tell  you." 

"Took  them  out  of  their  sockets?"  cried  Miss 
Betsey,  opening  her  eyes  wider  than  they  had  ever 
been  before  with  amazement  and  credulity  ;  ''bless 
my  life,  it  is  wonderful!  And  that  is  why  he 
bandaged  one  while  he  worked  on  the  other — to 
keep  rne  from  seeing  what  he  was  about.  Are  you 
sure  he  has  put  them  back  straight,  Uncle  Will- 
iam? Please  to. take  a  good  look  and  tell  me  the 
the  gospel  truth." 

"Straight  as  a  die,  and  sound  as  a  dollar,  Mis- 
tress Miller,"  answered  William,  chuckling  to 
himself  over  the  way  in  which  he  had  taken  her  in. 

"  Don't  listen  to  William's  yarns.  Miss  Betsey. 
He  is  only  romancing  a  little,"  I  put  in  at  once. 

IN    THREE    CONTmENTS.  125 

^'Wbat  is  romancing?"  asked  the  young  woman. 

"Speaking  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  noth- 
ing but  the  truth,"  answered  William,  with  the 
gravity  of  a  judge,  which  so  convulsed  me  with 
laughter  that  I  could  not  explain  matters  before 
she  bad  vanished. 

"  What  did  you  tell  her  that  whopper  for,  Will- 
iam," I  inquired,  when  we  were  alone. 

"  Only  for  a  little  fun,  young  master,"  answered 
William.  "  We  medical  men  must  have  some  di- 
version. Without  a  little  joke  now  and  then  the 
profession  would  die  of  the  blues.  She  will  find 
out  soon  enough  that  I  have  humbugged  her,  and 
will  return  to  have  it  out  wnth  me.  Don't  worry 
3^ourself  about  that  innocent  little  fib  of  mine,  for 
you  will  never  hear  any  more  of  it  after  she  has 
jawed  me  for  stuffing  her  like  I  would  any  other 

But  I  did  hear  "more  about  it."  In  less  than  a 
month's  time  it  was  known  and  believed  through- 
out the  county  that  the  "young  doctor"  had 
cured  Betsey  Miller  by  "taking  her  eyes  out  of 
their  sockets,  washing  them,  and  putting  them  back 
again;"  and  such  is  the  tradition  there  to  this 
day.  It  was  in  vain  that  I  contradicted  the  story. 
She  was  believed,  andj  as  a  natural  consequence, 
every  man,  woman  and  child  for  many  miles  around 
-who  had  any  disease  of  the  eyes  flocked  to  my  of- 
fice to  be  cured  a  la  Betsey  Miller. 

126  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

In  the  month  of  October,  1850,  I  went  to  Phil- 
adelphia to  complete  my  studies,  making  a  detour^ 
as  I  have  previously  explained.  My  father  gradu- 
ated in  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  but  alter 
due  consideration  I  matriculated  at  the  Jefferson 
Medical  College,  and  I  have  never  had  reason  to  re- 
gret the  choice.  Dr.  Miitter  was  certainly  one  of 
the  most  eloquent  and  instructive  lecturers,  and 
Dr.  Pancoast  one  of  the  best  operators,  that  this 
country  has  produced,  while  their  colleagues  gen- 
erally were  men  of  ability  and  learning. 

Being- anxious  to  see  as  much  of  practical  medi- 
cine as  possible,  I  made  arrangements  with  one  of 
the  city  physicians  to  take  the  poor  of  his  ward 
under  my  professional  charge,  and  it  so  happened 
that  Professor  Bache  lectured  on  chemistry  at  the 
precise  hours  which  I  devoted  to  this  work.  As 
he  w^as  not  an  interesting  teacher,  though  a  profi- 
cient in  his  specialty,  the  number  of  students  who 
had  the  patience  to  listen  to  him  was  small,  so  in- 
considerable, in  fact,  that  he  soon  learned  to  dis- 
tinguish each  one  of  them  and  to  address  him  by 

When  the  time  for  my  examination  on  chemistry 
arrived  I  did  not  enter  his  sanctum  with  the 
bravest  of  hearts,  because  I  felt  assured  that  he 
would  know  that  I  was  not  of  the  faithful  few  who 


had  suffered  martyrdom  to  please  him  and  to  se- 
cure his  vote. 

"  Take  a  seat,"  he  said  rather  gruffly.  "  Your 
name  is  Warren,  I  see,  but  I  have  no  recollection 
of  having  ever  met  you  before  to-night.  Have 
you  attended  my  lectures  ?" 

"  Some  of  them,"  I  answered  meekly. 

"How  many,  sir?"  demanded  the  old  man 

"  Three  or  four,"  was  my  reply. 

"  Three  or  four,  indeed  !  And  do  you  expect  to 
get  my  vote  after  confessing  to  such  negligence?" 

"I  expect  to  get -your  vote  if  I  answer  your 
questions,  professor.  I  am  not  here  as  a  beggar, 
sir,"  I  answered,  a  little  frightened,  but  very  much 

"  Oh  !     You  think  you  know^  enough   of  chem- 
istry without  my  instruction,  do  you?     Well,  we 
shall  see,"  said  the  doctor,  evidently  piqued  and' 

"  I  think  I  know  enough  of  chemistry  to  entitle 
me  to  the  diploma  of  this  college,"  I  answered. 

"  Well,  sir,  I  will  determine  that  question  for 
myself,"  said  the  old  man. 

He  then  went  to  w^ork,  and  for  an  hour  plied  me 
with  questions  of  every  possible  kind,  embracing 
the  most  difficult  he  could  think  of;  but,  fortun- 
ately, my  thorough  training  at  the  University  of 
Virginia  served  me  well,  and  I  went  through  the 
ordeal  without  a  balk  or  a  mistake.  This  seemed 
to  make  him  furious,  and  he  finally  roared  out : 

"  What  is  vitriolated  tartar,  sir  ?" 

"  A  substance  unknown  to  modern  chemistry,  at 
least  by  the  name  you  give  it,"  said  I,  very  de- 
cidedly. "  Professor  Rogers,  of  the  University  of 

■"  Professor  Rogers  !  "  he  exclaimed.     ''  And  you 

128  A  doctor's  experiences 

are  a  University  of  Virginia  man?     Why  did  you 
not  say  that  before,  and  save  me  all  this  trouble?" 

''I  am  a  ^graduate,  sir,  of  that  institution,  and 
I  took  distinctions  in  chemistry  besides." 

"  All  right.  I  will  vote  for  you  with  pleasure, 
as  I  should  have  done  without  asking  you  a  ques- 
tion had  you  told  me  where  you  came  from." 

'^  But,  professor,  what  about  vitriolated  tartar  ?" 

'*  Oh  !  An  obsolete  term  for  sulphate  of  potash  ; 
and  I  only  wanted  to  take  the  conceit  out  of  you 
by  asking  a  question  that  you  could  not  answer." 

After  this  exhibition  of  amiability  on  his  part,  I 
explained  the  circumstances  which  had  compelled 
me  to  forego  the  pleasure  (?)  of  attending  his  lec- 
tures, and  we  parted  the  best  of  friends.  I  have 
no  doubt  this  question  has  ''  taken  the  conceit  "  out 
of  many  a  poor  fellow  who  had  "  cut  "  the  doctor's 
lectures  and  had  not  Prof.  Kogers'  training  to  fall 
back  upon.  Professors  are  much  too  prone  to  re- 
sort to  "catch  questions"  in  order  to  embarrass 
students  and  to  secure  a  paltry  triumph  for  them- 
selves, without  remembering  that  they  may  thus 
disconcert  and  wrong  the  most  deserving.  I  have 
repeatedly  occupied  chairs  in  medical  colleges,  and 
I  have  made  it  an  invariable  rule  to  give  each  candi- 
date a  square  and  fair  examination,  taking  special 
pains,  at  the  same  time,  to  relieve  him  from  all 
embarrassment,  and  to  encourage  that  condition  of 
mental  composure  in  which  the  intellect  works 
with  its  wonted  ease  and  accuracy. 

I  boarded  that  winter  in  a  very  select  house  kept 
by  two  maiden  ladies  who  had  seen  better  days  and 
were  connected  with  some  of  the  best  people  in 
Philadelphia.  The  society  of  their  establishment 
was  elegant,  and  I  made  the  acquaintance  of  many 
charming  people  there.  Only  five  medical  students 
succeeded  in   gaining   admittance,  and  they  were 


received  as  a  particular  favor,  and  on  special  recom- 

Medical  students  were  reo;arded  in  those  days  as 
most  uncouth  and  uncivilized  specimens  of  hu- 
manity, and  they  were  popularly  rated  and  reviled 
as  Southerners,  and  especially  as  Virginians. 
Whenever  a  disturbance  occurred,  the  "  students  " 
were  held  responsible  and  they  were  generally 
treated  as  if  they  were  convicts  or  outlaws — as 
the  representatives  of  an  inferior  race  and  civiliza- 
tion. The  result  was  a  perpetual  state  of  warfare 
between  the  Philadelphians  and  those  who  had 
oome  among  them  to  engage  in  the  stuiy  of  medi- 
cine, with  the  development  of  reciprocal  senti- 
ments of  aversion,  which  bore  bitter  fruits  for  both 

I  am  convinced  that  the  germs  of  antagonism 
thus  sown  among  the  physicians  of  the  South  gradu- 
ally infected  their  entire  section,  and  became  im- 
portant elements  in  the  production  of  that  condition 
of  things  which  culminated  in  one  of  the  bloodiest 
wars  of  modern  times. 

Among  the  results  of  this  controversy  may  also 
be  classed  the  fact  that,  though  the  medical  schools 
of  Philadelphia  are  inferior  to  none  in  the  country, 
'the  tide  of  Southern  patronage  now  flows  silently 
by  them  and  pours  itself  into  the  lap  of  New 
York,  a  city  which  has  ever  been  distinguished  for 
the  liberality  and  catholicity  of  its  sentiments. 

My  chum  was  George  Wilkins,  of  Northampton 
County,  Ya.,  with  whom  I  had  become  well  ac- 
quainted at  the  University  of  Yirginia,  and  of 
whom  I  can  emphatically  say  that  a  better  man 
never  entered  the  ranks  of  the  profession.  Pos- 
sessed of  ample  means,  he  has  not  engaged  actively 
in  the  practice  of  medicine,  but  he  has  never  failed 
to  command  the  respect  of  the  community  in  which 

130  A  doctor's  experiences 

he  lives,  and  especially  of  tliose  who  know  him  in- 
timately. We  have  l)een  friends  for  more  than 
thirty  years,  and  we  shall  continue  such  to  the  end, 
which  cannot  be  very  distant  from  either  of  us. 

Among  my  student  friends  there  was  a  young  man 
from  Virginia,  who  really  belonged  to  one  of  the 
"  first  families"  of  that  State,  and  who  was  dis- 
tinguished not  less  for  his  brilliant  intellect  than, 
lor  his  vivacity  and  light-heartedness.  He  was,  m 
fact,  one  of  those  bright,  jovial,  irrepressible, 
whole-souled  men  who  seem  born  alone  for  sun- 
shine and  happiness.  His  joyous  laughter,  his 
sna-tches  of  merry  song  and  his  sparkling  jests 
ring  ever  through  my  memory  like  some  sweet  re- 
frain from  the  shores  of  the  past.  Besides,  he  was 
the  handsomest  fellow  in  his  clas^.  Tall  and 
graceful  in  person,  his  oval  forehead  shaded  with 
chestnut  curls,  his  bright  eyes  reflecting  the  deep- 
est blue  of  the  skies,  and  with  a  nose  and  mouth 
unsurpassed  in  symmetry  by  any  creation  of  classic 
art,  he  seemed  almost  feminine  in  his  personal  at- 
tractions. After  a  brilliant  examination  he  gradu- 
ated in  medicine  and  turned  his  face  homeward ^ 
followed  by  the  best  wishes  of  the  entire  class,  and 
seemingly  with  the  most  brilliant  future  before  him. 

For  more  than  twelve  years  I  never  saw  or  heard 
of  him,  and  I  supposed  that  his  life  had  fulfilled 
its  promise  ;  that  he  had  reaped  as  rich  a  harvest 
of  the  world's  blessings  and  honors  as  he  had  ex- 
pected and  deserved. 

But  I  was  woefully  mistaken.  One  night  dur- 
ing the  war  I  was  in  Richmond,  and  had  retired 
to  rest  in  the  old  Spottswood  Hotel,  when  there 
was  a^  rap  at  my  door,  and  a  man  entered,  who 
greeted  me  with  a  cordial  shake  of  the  hand,  and 
the  familiar  salutation:  '"How  goes  it,  Ned?'^ 
"  You  have  the  advantage  of  me,  sir/'  said  I,  as  I 


recoo:aized  neither  the   voice  nor  the  face  of  mv 
visitor.      "  Don't  know  me  ?     I  am  your  old  friend, 

Bob  H ;  I  certainly,  then,  must  have  altered 

very  much,"  said  he. 

"  You  Bob  H ?"  I  exclaimed.  '^  I  remem- 
ber him  perfectly,  and  you  have  neither  his  face, 
figure  nor  voice.  You  are  no  more  like  him  than 
I  am.  Such  a  change  could  not  take  place  in  a 
human  being."  All  this  time  I  stood  with  my 
hand  upon  the  open  door,  neither  offering  him  a 
seat  nor  showing  him  the  slightest  courtesy,  be- 
cause I  believed  him  to  be  some  '^  dead  beat "  who 
was  trying  to  take  me  in. 

'^Ned  Warren,"  he  said,  as  the  tears  rolled 
down  his  cheeks,  "Is  this  the  reception  you  give 
an  old  friend  after  so  many  years  of  separation  ? 
And  I  had  such  a  favor  to  ask  of  you,  thinking  I 
should  find  you  what  you  were  in  other  days. 
Well,  it's  all  up  with  me,  and  I  won't  intrude  any 

"  Convince  me  that  you  are  the  man  you  claim 
to  be,  and  there  is  nothing  I  will  not  do  for  you. 

If  you  are  Bob  H ,  tell  me  where  we  boarded 

in  Philadelphia  and    about   the  people  we    knew 

In  a  moment  he  went  over  the  incidents  of  our 
student  life  and  removed  every  doubt  from  my 
mind  as  to  his  identity. 

'•  A  thousand  pardons,  old  fellow,"  I  exclaimed, 
embracing  him  warmly.  ''I  am  delighted  to  see 
you  again.  But  what  have  you  been  doing  with 
yourself  to  make  such  a  complete  transformation 
possible?  Your  own  mother  would  not  know  you. 
Bob,  for  everything  about  you^  even  the  color  of 
3^our  hair  and  the  tones  of  your  voice,  have  totally 
changed.  Take  a  seat  and  tell  me  all  about  your- 

132  A  doctor's  experiences 

''  Ah  J  Ned,"  said  lie^  as  he  sank  into  a  chair  and 
"threw  his  tattered  hat  upon  the  sofa,  ''  I  have  had 
•a  hard  time  since  we  parted  ;  life  seemed  all  sun- 
shine then,  but  it  turned  out  to  be  only  clouds  and 
-darkness  ;  practice  did  not  come  so  rapidly  as  I  ex- 
pected ;  my  money  ran  low  ;  disappointments  of  all 
kinds  pursued  me  ;  and  I  sought  consolation  and 
oblivion  in  drink,  which  only  made  matters  worse. 
I  lived  the  life  of  an  obscure  'country  doctor/ 
just  managing  to  exist,  until  the  war  broke  out, 
wlien  I  '  went  in '  as  a  private,  and  have  re- 
mained in  the  ranks  up  to  the  present  moment. 
When  nearly  dead  from  the  combined  eifects  of 
wounds,  privation  and  exposure,  I  applied  for  per- 
mission to  be  examined  for  the  position  of  assistant 
surgeon.  After  waiting  for  six  months  in  a  state 
of  mind  bordering  on  desperation,  a  favorable 
answer  reached  me  on  yesterday,  and  I  have  been 
given  two  days'  leave  so  that  I  may  appear  before 
the  board  of  examination,  of  which  you  are  a  mem- 
ber. I  am  to  be  examined  to-morrow  morning  at 
ten  o'clock,  and  as  I  have  never  been  a  student 
since  my  graduation,  and  have  not  had  a  medical 
book  in  my  hands  for  two  years,  my  rejection  is 
almost  a  matter  of  certainty,  which  means  that  I 
shall  have  to  return  to  camp  either  to  be  speedily 
killed  or  to  die  like  a  dog,  for  my  health  is  utterly 
shattered.  Having  heard  by  the  merest  accident 
of  your  presence  here  and  of  your  connection  with 
the  board,  I  hurried  to  your  hotel  to  beg  of  you  for 
God's  sake  to  help  me — to  save  me." 

''The  case  is,  indeed,  a  grave  one,  Bob.  Un- 
fortunately, I  am  not  a  member  of  the  Richmond 
board,  but  of  another  in  North  Carolina.  The  ex- 
amination will  surely  be  a  rigid  one,  and  you  must 
not  think  of  standing  it  until  you  have  had  time 
to  prepare  yourself.     I  know  the  secretary  of  war 


intimatelyj  and  I  will  see  him  to-morrow,  state 
your  case,  and  get  you  a  leave  of  absence  for  a 
month  so  that  you  can  post  yourself." 

"  Unluckily,  you  can't  do  that  before  ten  o'clock 
to-morrow,  and  at  that  precise  hour  I  am  compelled 
to  appear  before  the  board.  Stand  the  examination 
I  must,  and  take  the  chances,  though  they  are  a 
thousand  to  one  against  me.  How  I  should  like  to 
succeed  !" 

''Then  I  will  try  the  next  best  thiug.  The 
clock  has  just  struck  two  and  we  have  eight  hours 
to  work  in.  I  propose  to  devote  the  entire  time  to 
cramming  you  for  the  examination.  Having  served 
on  boards  of  examination  I  know  the  ground  which 
your  examiners  are  likely  to  take  you  over,  and, 
although  there  may  be  a  constructive  breach  of 
faith  in  it,  I  intend  to  prepare  you  as  far  as  possi- 
ble for  the  questions  that  they  will  probably  ask 
you  ;  and  I  am  sure  that  both  the  Good  Lord  and 
Jeff  Davis  will  forgive  me  for  thus  trying  to  help 
an  old  friend  in  distress.  What  do  you  say  to  my 
proposition  ?" 

"  It's  a  desperate  chance,  Ned,  but  a  drowning 
man  can't  afford  to  quarrel  with  the  rope  that  is 
thrown  to  him.  I  will  try  to  take  in  what  you  tell 
me,  but  I  am  as  dull  as  a  land  terrapin  and  as 
rusty  as  a  discarded  stovepipe.  I  know  the  Lord 
will  pardon  and  reward  you  for  your  kindness." 

So  I  stirred  up  the  fire  and  went  to  work  to  pre- 
pare the  poor  fellow  for  the  ordeal  through  which 
he  had  to  pass.  I  found  the  task  a  difficult  one,  I 
can  assure  3'ou,  for  he  seemed  not  only  to  have  for- 
gotten all  that  he  had  ever  known,  but  to  have 
lost  the  faculty  of  acquiring  knowledge.  I  made 
it  a  point,  naturally,  to  post  him  on  gun-shot 
wounds,  taking  my  departure  from  the  wounds  which 
he  had  received,  and  charging  him  at  the  same  time 

134  A  doctor's  experiences 

to  bring  them  adroitly  to  the  front,  so  as  to  lead 
the  examiners  upon  ground  with  which  he  was 
comparatively  familiar. 

Finally  the  hour  approached,  and  under  the 
stimulus  of  the  breakfast  which  I  ordered  in  my 
room,  he  became  a  little  more  hopeful,  and  began 
to  ''spruce  himself  up,"  asking  me  to  lend  him 
one  of  my  old  ''citizen  coats"  so  that  he  might 
"present  a  more  decent  appearance"  before  the 
board.  "  By  no  means,"  said  I ;  "  don't  think  of 
appearing  in  anything  but  jouv  ragged  uniform. 
Enter  the  room  as  if  you  had  just  tramped  in  from 
camp,  and  then  make  some  pleasant  remark  to  this 
effect :  I  hope  you  will  excuse  my  appearance, 
gentlemen,  as  this  costume  is  the  best  that  my 
wardrobe  can  afford,  and  my  rustiness  as  well,  for 
a  man  who  has  been  for  two  years  practicing  the 
art  of  killing  his  fellow  beings  must  necessarily 
have  lost  much  of  his  skill  in  curing  them.  At 
the  same  time,  avoid  all  discussion  ivith  the  mem- 
bers of  the  board,  and  be  sure  to  provoke  a  discus- 
sion amo7ig  them  if  you  can.  Don't  forget  to  bring 
your  own  wounds  conspicuously  forward,  and  trust 
to  the  Lord  for  the  rest." 

I  was  too  much  interested  to  remain  at  home, 
and  for  an  hour  I  paced  the  street  in  front  of  the 
building  in  which  the  board  held  its  sessions, 
anxiously  awaiting  the  appearance  of  my  friend. 
Finally  he  came  out,  looking  ten  years  younger, 
his  face  radiant  with  smiles  and  tears  of  joy  stream- 
ing down  his  cheeks.  Throwing  himself  into  my 
arms  he  sobbed  out:  "You  have  saved  me!  I 
have  passed  !  I  have  passed  !  They  told  me  so 
before  I  left  the  room." 

"  Well,  I  do  most  heartily  congratulate  you. 
But  tell  me  all  about  it.  How  did  you  manage  to 
get  along  so  well?" 

IN   THREE    CONTmENTS.  135 


Oh  !  I  had  the  best  luck  imaginable.  The 
moment  they  saw  my  ragged  uniform  and  my 
generally  dilapidated  appearance  they  seemed 
kindly  disposed  toward  me.  They  fell  into  the 
trap  beautifully  which  I  baited  with  my  own 
wounds,  and  having  asked  a  few  questions  concern- 
ing them  and  wounds  generally  they  got  into  a 
discussion  among  themselves  in  regard  to  the 
cold-water  treatment,  which  they  kept  up  until  the 
time  allotted  to  my  examination  had  expired. 
When  they  made  this  discovery  they  apologized 
for  their  neglect  (?) — for  which^  God  knows,  I  for- 
gave them — conferred  together  a  little,  congratu- 
lated me  upon  my  surgical  knowledge,  and  then 
informed  me  that  they  would  vote  for  me  with 
pleasure.  So  you  see  I  am  no  longer  a  '  high  pri- 
vate,' but  an  'assistant  surgeon,'  P.  A.  C.  S.  I 
can  never  repay  you,  Warren,  if  I  live  a  thousand 
years  or  get  to  be  surgeon-general." 

"  Don't  talk,  about  that  part  of  it,  Bob.  You 
would  have  done  as  much  for  me.  I  am  as  proud 
of  your  success  as  you  are.  Come  and  dine  with 
me  at  six  sharp,  and  we  will  talk  the  matter  over. 
Good  morning,  don't  forget  the  hour  for  dinner."' 

Having  been  detained  a  long  time  at  the  surgeon- 
general's  office,  I  did  not  regain  my  hotel  until 
lialf-past  six  P.  M.  To  my  astonishment,  my 
friend  was  not  awaiting  me  either  in  the  hall  or  in 
the  parlor,  nor  could  he  be  ibund  though  I  searched 
■everywhere,  especially  in  the  soldiers'  most  certain 
retreat,  the  '^  sample  room."  I  then  went  up  to  my 
room  to  prepare  for  dinner,  and  to  my  astonishment 
found  the  door  unlocked,  but  barred  on  the  inside 
by  some  obstruction.  Calling  for  assistance,  I 
pushed  it  open  with  difficulty,  and  found  upon  the 
floor  the  prostrate  form  of  my  guest  I  left  him 
where  he  had  fallen    in  his  intoxication,  ate  my 


dinner  alone  and  passed  the  night  in  an  adjoining 
chamber — to  find  him  on  the  following  morning 
sleeping  as  quietly  in  my  bed  and  as  much  at  home 
as  it"  he  were  in  his  own  tent  upon  the  banks  of  the 
Rapid  an. 

"Hallo!"  cried  I,  giving  him  a  hearty  shake, 
"the  reveille  has  beaten,  and  it  is  time  to  turn 

"  The  devil  you  say,"  cried  he,  springing  from 
the  bed  and  rushing  toward  the  door,  apparently 
in  great  alarm. 

"  Hold  on.  Bob  !  Where  are  yon  going,  and  what 
are  you  about?"  cried  I,  catching  him  by  the 
shoulder  and  forcing  him  into  a  seat. 

"  Why,  Ned,  is  this  you?  I  thought  I  was  in 
camp,"  he  exclaimed,  rubbing  his  eyes  and  giving 
a  terrific  yawn  ;  "  but  now  I  remember  that  I  am 
to  dine  with  you.     Is  it  time  for  dinner  ?" 

"Yes,  and  breakfast-time  in  the  bargain.  I 
found  you  here  last  night,  dead  drunk,  and  you 
have  slept  for  twelve  hours  on  a  stretch." 

"Oh,  yes,  yes,  I  remember  all  about  it  now — 
but  you  see,  old  fellow,  I  was  bound  to  '  celebrate 
the  clav'  havino;  'curled'  the  board  so  beautifullv." 

"  By  getting  drunk  ?" 

"  Yes,  of  course,  but  I  got  drunk  like  a  gentle- 
man. It  was  none  of  your  rot-gut  or  new-dip  that 
did  the  business  for  me,  but  genuine  champagne. 
It  is  true  it  took  every  cent  of  the  three  months' 
pay  which  I  had  earned  with  my  blood,  but  I  wa& 
determinecl  to  do  my  celebrating  respectably,  and 
I  did  it.  You  know  that  I  had  to  support  the 
dignity  of  an  officer  and  to  drink  your  health  at 
the  same  time." 

"  I  don't  see  anything  gentlemanly  or  respectable 
in  trettino;  drunk,  nor  do  I  wish  my  health  drunk 
in  champagne  or  anything  else  if  your  last  cent  has 

,     IN    THREE    CONTINENTS.  13T 

to  be  spent  in  buying  it  and  you  end  by  making  a 
brute  of  yourself  besides." 

"  When  did  you  join  the  temperance  society? 
Have  you  forgotten  the  sundry  ^  whisky  toddies' 
we  consumed  together  in  old  times  ?" 

'^I  am  no  temperance  man,  Bob,  but  simply  a 
temperate  one.  If  I  had,  however,  the  slightest 
weakness  for  liquor  I  would  take  the  pledge  to-day, 
and  keep  it  for  the  rest  of  my  life.  I  have  not  for- 
gotten the  good  times  we  had  together  when  we 
were  younger,  but  I  would  not  drink  with  you 
again,  now  that  I  know  your  failing,  for  my  right 
hand.  I  do  not  wish  to  encourage  you  to  do  that 
toward  which  it  is  evident  you  are  already  too 
much  inclined — to  get  drunk  and  ruin  yourself.  I 
wish  that  alcohol  had  never  been  discovered  or 
could  be  abolished  toto  coelo." 

"You  are  hard  on  me,  Ned  Warren.  I  have 
only  'celebrated'  my  good  luck  of  yesterday  by 
drinking  a  bottle  of  champagne  like  a  gentleman  ; 
and  if  I  did  get  tight  on  it  many  a  better  man  than 
you  or  I  has  done  the  same.  I  am  surprised  at 
your  wish  to  abolish  alcohol,  considering  its  value 
as  a  medicine  and  in  view  of  the  lives  saved  by  it 

"I  hard  on  you?  No,  Bob,  it  is  you  who  are 
hard  upon  yourself.  I  must  speak  plainly,  because  I 
am  really  a  friend  and  want  to  serve  you.  When 
1  first  knew  you,  you  were  one  of  the  handsomest 
and  happiest  fellows  in  the  world.  All  the  girls 
loved  you  ;  you  were  the  pet  of  your  class  ;  you 
were  the  hope  of  your  family,  and  you  were  the 
pride  of  the  community  in  which  you  lived.  Few 
men  were  ever  more  blessed  with  talents  and  pros- 
pects than  you,  twelve  years  ago.  What  are  you 
to-day?  By  your  own  confession,  you  are  a  dead 
failure  and  a  complete  wreck — blighted  physically, 

138  A  doctor's  experiexces 

mentally  and  morally  ;  you  have  thrown  away  your 
chance  in  life  ;  you  have  disappointed  your  com- 
rades, mortified  your  family,  and  disgusted  the 
community  in  which  you  were  reared  ;  your  for- 
tune has  heen  dissipated,  and  you  have  just  spent 
your  '  last  copper  ;  '  your  '  troops  '  of  friends 
have  dwindled  down  to  one  solitary  college-mate  ; 
and  you  who  ought  to  be  a  professor  are  simply  an 
assistant  surgeon  in  embryo,  having  scraped 
through  by  the  very  skin  of  your  teeth.  Now, 
what  has  brought  about  all  this  ?  What  is  the  rock 
upon  which  your  life  has  been  wrecked  ?  You 
know  it  is  drink — nothino;  more  and  nothino;  less. 
It  is  alcohol  in  some  form  or  other  that  has  thus 
transformed,  demoralized,  and  destroyed  3'ou. 
Let  me  ask  you,  then,  is  it  I  who  am  hard  upon 
3^ou  in  simply  telling  you  the  truth  about  this  ter- 
rible vice  of  yours,  or  is  it  you  who  are  hard  upon 
yourself  for  indulging  it?  Talk  about  'celebrat- 
ing your  victory  with  champagne,'  as  if  the 
quality  of  the  wine  helped  the  character  of  the  act ! 
You  had  better  celebrate  it  with  a  dose  of  arsenic 
and  put  an  end  to  your  life  at  once  than  to  con- 
tinue it  in  drunkenness  and  disgrace.  Talk  about 
'getting  drunk  like  a  gentleman,' as  if  there  were 
any  way  of  doing  a  disgraceful  thing  which  can 
transform  it  into  a  virtue,  and  add  to  the  respect- 
ability of  its  perpetrator  1  I  admit  that  alcohol  has 
its  value  as  a  medicine — that  good  results  attend 
its  judicious  administration — but  of  this  I  am  cer- 
tain :  for  every  pang  it  relieves  there  are  a  myriad 
of  pains  which  it  produces  ;  for  each  life  it  prolongs 
there  are  an  infinitude  of  lives  which  it  destroys, 
while  the  benefits  it  secures  as  compared  with  the 
evils  which  it  entails  are  as  a  pebble  to  the  Pyra- 
mids, as  a  stream  from  a  spigot  to  the  falls  of 
Niagara.     Taking   all   things    into    account,    and 


multiplying  its  therapeutical  value  ten  thousand 
fold,  I  am  convinced  that  the  world  would  gain 
largely  by  its  annihilation — if  all  there  is  of  it, 
whatever  its  name  or  guise,  could  be  poured  into 
the  sea,  and  its  future  production  prohibited." 

"  My  God,  Warren,  stop  !  What  you  say  pen- 
etrates to  the  core.  It  makes  me  think — a  thing 
that  I  have  not  done  for  ten  years." 

"  You  ought  to  have  commenced  to  think  before  ; 
it  is  too  late  for  that  now.  Suppose  you  began, 
even  at  this  late  day,  to  act.  You  say  that  I  have 
done  you  a  service — have  saved  your  life  and  res- 
cued you  from  a  whole  catalogue  of  evils,  and  you 
talk  about  seeking  the  occasion  to  give  a  proof  of 
your  gratitude.  That  occasion  is  before  you  ;  grant 
me  a  favor,  and  make  us  ^  quits.'" 

^'I  am  at  your  service.  What  possible  favor  can 
you  have  to  ask  of  me?" 

"It  is  a  favor  to  me,  but  a  still  greater  service 
to  yourself.  Give  me  your  word  of  honor  that  you 
will  never  drink  again." 

'^  What  is  the  use?  I  have  sworn  off  a  thou- 
sand times  and  have  fallen  from  grace  as  often. 
There  always  occurs  something  I  feel  bound  to 
^  celebrate,'  and  I  find  that  the  pledge  is  not 
worth  'a  continental.'  I  have  not  the  moral 
force  to  resist  temptation.     I  only  wish  I  had." 

"  Make  one  more  effort  for  my  sake  and  your 
own.  Think  of  the  good  luck  you  have  had  in 
your  examination,  and  try  to  retain  the  commis- 
sion which  you  are  about  to  receive.  The  sur- 
geon-general told  me  only  yesterday  that  he  was 
almost  afraid  to  issue  it  on  account  of  your  bad 
habits,  and  that  he  should  keep  his  eye  on  you." 

'•My  God,  lose  my  commission?  I  had  not 
thought  of  that.  I  had  rather  die  than  suffer  sucK 
a  calamity." 

140  A  doctor's  experiences 

'^  It  is  entirely  with  you  to  invite  or  to  prevent 
it.  Pledge  me  yonr  word  that  you  will  give  up 
drinking  altogether,  and  then  try  honestly  to  keep 
it — always  bearing  in  mind  that  to  break  it  means 
a  place  in  the  ranks  and  a  drunkard's  grave." 

'^YeSj  and  I  will  do  my  level  best  to  keep  it. 
All  '  celebrations  '  may  go  to  the  devil," 

"Are  you  in  earnest?" 

"  Yes,  in  dead  earnest." 

''Then  repeat  after  me,  slowly  and  distinctly  : 
'  I  solemnly  promise,  on  my  honor  as  a  man  and 
as  an  officer,  that  from  this  time  forward  I  will  not 
take,  even  if  prescribed  by  a  physician,  one  drop  of 
alcoholic  stimulant,  including  whisky,  brandy, 
gin,  wines  of  all  kinds,  and  malt  liquors,  so  long 
as  I  live,  so  help  me,  God/" 

He  repeated  every  word  with  emphasis,  and 
added:  ''Candidly,  Ned,  I  have  no  faith  in  my 
honor  as  a  man,  but  perhaps  my  honor  as  an  offi- 
cer, backed  up  by  the  dread  of  losing  my  commis- 
sion, may  hold  water.  At  any  rate  I  will  do  my 
best  not  to  disappoint  you.  Good-bye,  my  dear 
friend.  I  shall  never  forget  this  visit  to  Rich- 
mond, and  the  most  pleasant  recollections  of  my  life 
will  have  you  as  their  head-center.  Thank  God, 
there  is  no  liquor  in  camp,  and  I  can't  '  celebrate' 
with  the  boys  if  I  wanted  to." 

I  have  never  met  my  friend  and  proselyte  since, 
and  I  am  unable  to  say  whether  he  kept  his  word 
or  not.  I  only  know  that  he  did  not  lose  his  com- 
mission during  the  war,  and  that  he  surrendered 
with  General  Lee  at  Appomattox. 

I  have  gone  into  the  details  of  this  incident  be- 
cause it  serves  to  show  alike  the  fascination  and 
the  evils  of  drunkenness,  and  the  difficulties  which 
frequently  surround  the  question  of  identity. 

After  an  intei  val  of  only  twelve  years  I  meet  one 


with  wliom  I  had  lived  in  the  most  intimate  rela- 
tions for  months  and  of  whom  a  distinct  picture 
remains  in  my  memory,  and  yet  I  absolutely  fail 
to  recognize  him  on  account  of  the  complete  trans- 
formation which  has  taken  place  in  him,  physi- 
cally^ mentall}^  and  morally. 

I  recollect,  also^  having  seen  the  Prince  of  Wales 
when  he  visited  America,  and  of  finding  him  twenty 
y^ears  afterward  so  completely  changed  from  the 
cadaverous,  gaunt  and  awkward  boy  that  he  then 
was  as  almost  to  stagger  me  in  regard  to  his  iden- 

I  am  quite  sure  that  the  differences  in  physical 
traits  and  intellectual  qualities  which  were  proved 
to  exist  between  the  youth,  Roger  Tichborne,  and 
the  matured  man,  "the  claimant,"  were  not  more 
radical  than  those  which  could  be  established  in 
the  case  of  my  friend  and  that  of  the  Prince  of 

Although  the  claimant  resorted  to  the  most  des- 
picable means  to  prove  his  case,  I  have  always  be- 
lieved him  to  be  the  veritable  heir,  and  such  I 
know  to  be  the  opinion  of  many  intelligent  and 
disinterested  men  in  England  and  out  of  it.  He 
deserved  to  be  punished  for  his  perjury  and  his  at-, 
tempt  at  subornation,  but  not  upon  the  evidence  of 
non-identity,  which  was  mainly  relied  upon  by  the 

I  have  met  with  persons  who  had  forgotten  their 
native  tongue  and  were  unable  to  make  their  wants 
known  in  it,  while  to  forget  a  foreign  language  is 
<i  matter  of  daily  occurrence.  I  have  even  seen 
Americans  who,  after  a  very  brief  sojourn  abroad, 
had  become  so  thoroughly  denationalized  as  scarcely 
to  be  able  to  recall  their  vernacular,  so  distorting 
it  with  alien  idioms  and  foreign  accentuations  that 
the    mothers    who   taught    them   to    speak   could 

142  A  doctor's  experiences 

scarcely  understand  what  they  were  driving  at  even 
with  the  help  of  a  dictionary  and  an  interpreter. 

I  am  reminded  here  of  a  singular  circumstance 
which  has  occurred  in  my  own  family.  When  my 
youngest  daughter  arrived  in  France  she  spoke 
only  Arabic,  but  having  acquired  French  she  has- 
entirely  forgotten  the  former  language  save  when 
asleep.  Night  after  night  I  hear  her  talking  Arabic 
in  her  dreams,  using  words  which  she  can  neither 
recall  nor  understand  when  awake. 

During  my  residence  in  Philadelphia,  in  the 
latter  part  of  1850,  the  idea  of  using  morphia  hypo- 
dermically  for  the  relief  of  pain  occurred  to  my 
mind  as  an  original  conception.  Taking  the  hint 
from  its  action  upon  a  blistered  and  denuded  surface, 
I  concluded  that  it  would  act  more  promptly  and 
efficiently  if  introduced  under  the  skin,  without 
being  attended  with  greater  danger.  Filled  with 
the  idea  I  discussed  it  with  my  fellow  students,  and 
actually  prepared  a  thesis  for  graduation  recom- 
mending this  method  of  treatment,  and  proposing 
to  puncture  with  a  lancet  and  then  to  introduce 
morphia  in  solution  by  means  of  Anel's  syringe. 
Happening  to  meet  one  of  the  professors,  I  told 
him  my  plan  of  medication  and  attempted  to  discuss- 
it  with  him,  but  he  took  so  discouraging  a  view  of 
the  subject — dwelling  especially  on  the  difficulty  of 
limiting  the  effects  of  a  narcotic  thus  introduced 
into  the  circulation — that  I  went  home,  and  in  a. 
state  of  despondency  destroyed  my  thesis^  and 
presented  another  on  scarlatination,  or,  in  other 
words,  the  prevention  of  scarlet  fever  by  repeated 
inoculations — the  identical  process  which  Pasteur 
has  recently  adopted  in  regard  to  rabies  and  others 
are  proposing  for  cholera  and  yellow  fever.  Soon 
after  my  graduation  I  put  my  idea  to  a  practical 
test  by  introducing  the  sixth  of  a  grain  of  morphia 


under  the  skin  of  a  patient  suffering  with  a  violent 
rheumatic  pain  of  the  forearm,  with  the  result  of 
giving  immediate  relief^  and  without  the  induction 
of  an  unfavorable  symptom. 

Although  I  do  not  pretend  to  be  the  inventor  of 
the  hypodermic  syringe,  I  do  claim  to  be  the  dis- 
coverer of  hypodermic  medication.  This  may  seem 
a  bold  position,  but  I  am  prepared  to  show  by  incon- 
trovertible evidence  that  I  conceived  of  hypodermic 
medication,  ivrote  on  the  subject,  and  practiced,  it 
several  years  in  advance  of  any  other  person.^ 

I  have  already  related  the  circumstances  under 
which  I  left  Philadelphia  without  waiting  to  secure 
my  diploma.  This  document,  however,  was  taken 
possession  of  by  a  friend,  and  it  hangs  in  my  office 
to-day,  having  escaped  the  accidents  of  the  war — a 
memento  of  past  labors,  and  a  reminder  of  human 
mortality,  for  every  man  whose  name  is  attached 
to  it  Vias  long  since  paid  the  debt  of  nature  and 
gone  to  his  rest. 

My  eldest  surviving  sister,  Jane,  married,  in  the 
spring  of  1853,  Major  Stephen  T.  Peters,  of  Virginia, 
a  ripe  scholar  and  a  most  charming   man,  and  as 

^Apropos  of  this  subject,  I  reproduce  the  subjoined  letter 
from  Dr.  George  F.  Wilkins,  of  Northampton  County,  Vir- 
ginia, which  settles  the  question  of  priority  as  to  the  discovery 
of  hypodermic  medication : 

"Eastville,  Va.,  May  30,  1885.  _ 
"  My  Dear  Doctor:  In  reference  to  your  inquiries  I  unhesi- 
tatingly state  that  I  was  your  room-mate  while  you  were 
engaged  in  the  study  of  medicine  in  Philadelphia,  in  the 
winter  of  1850-'51,  and  that  you  then  conceived  the  idea  of 
injecting  morphia  subcutaneously,  and  wrote  a  thesis  recom- 
mending its  administration  in  that  manner  for  the  relief  of 

"  I  remain  very  truly,  yours, 

"  George  F.  Wilkins. 

"  To  Dr.  Edward  Warren-Bey, 

Paris,  France." 


he  had  just  returned  from  a  trip  abroad  and  was 
tilled  with  enthusiasm  for  things  outremer^  he  soon 
inspired  me  with  an  ardent  desire  to  visit  Paris, 
for  the  purpose  of  seeing  its  great  hospitals  and 
listening  to  its  renowned  professors.  Having 
worked  with  great  assiduity,  I  soon  found  myself 
in  position  to  realize  this  wish,  with  which  I  was 
glad  to  find  my  father  in  the  fullest  sympathy,  his 
kind  heart  prompting  him  to  any  sacrifice  having 
for  its  object  my  advancement  in  medical  knowledge 
and  professional  reputation.  I  therefore  perfected 
my  arrangements,  and  left  home  in  the  fall  of  1854, 
expecting  to  spend  a  year  abroad,  and  leaving  many 
tearful  eves  behind  me  in  old  Eden  ton. 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  sailed  from  New  York  late  in  November,  1854, 
on  the  steamer  "  Pacific,"  of  the  Collins  line,  and, 
considering  that  she  was  a  side-wheeler,  and  that 
it  was  the  season  of  "  storms,"  we  had  a  good  pass- 
a,ge_,  and  arrived  at  Queenstown  on  the  morning  of 
the  tenth  day.  Only  a  little  while  before  the 
steamer  ''Arctic"  had  been  run  down  off  Cape 
Kace,  carrying  with  her  many  valuable  lives  ;  and 
as  we  passed  the  locality  of  the  disaster  every  coun- 
tenance wore  a  somber  aspect.  We  were  the  more 
disposed  to  gloom  and  apprehension  because  of  the 
constant  sounding  of  the  fog-horn,  which  is  not 
exhilarating,  to  say  the  least  of  it.  Indeed,  there 
is  something  so  sepulchral  in  its  notes  that  they 
bring  visions  of  disaster  to  the  minds  of  the  bravest, 
whatever  they  may  say  or  assume  to  the  contrary. 
I  once  heard  an  old  salt  remark:  ''Somehow  I 
can't  get  used  to  the  darn'd  thing.  I  never  hear 
it  without  wishing  I  was  safely  buried  once  and  for 
all  in  the  family  graveyard  on  shore,  where  I 
could  never  hear  it  again."  I  appreciated  his  feel- 
ings, and  sympathized  with  his  sentiments  to  the 
fullest  extent,  especially  on  this  occasion.  Taking 
into  account  the  number  of  ships  that  sail  the  sea, 
the  difficulty  of  locating  the  sound  when  it  is  heard, 
^nd  the  fact  that  no  response  can  be  made  by  sail- 

146  A  doctor's  experiences 

ing  vessels  and  icebergs,  the  wonder  is  that  the 
number  of  recorded  collisions  is  so  limited.  Doubt- 
less there  are  many  whose  histories  are  among  the 
mysteries  which  the  day  of  doom  alone  will  disclose, 
for  the  merciless  waves  keep  no  record  of  their  tri- 
uphs.  This  very  ship,  the  ''Pacific,"  a  few  years 
subsequently,  left  Liverpool  with  a  rich  cargo  and 
a  full  list  of  passengers,  and  was  never  heard  of 
again — disappeared  forever,  without  leaving  a  trace 
or  a  token  behind. 

But  no  answer  came  to  our  warning  signals,  and 
we  went  on  our  way  rejoicing  at  our  good  fortune^ 
and  delighted  to  leave  the  Banks  with  their  fogs 
and  icebergs  in  our  wake. 

I  paid  the  usual  tribute  to  old  ocean,  and  was 
desperately  sick  for  several  days,  unable  to  leave 
my  berth,  suffering  with  perpetual  nausea,  dis- 
gusted with  life,  and  wishing  myself  "anywhere, 
anywhere  out  of  the  world." 

Sea-sickness  is,  indeed,  a  curious  malady,  and 
the  theories  which  have  been  advanced  concerning 
its  etiology  and  the  remedies  recommended  for  its 
treatment  are  as  numerous  as  the  waves  of  the  sea. 
Some  persons  escape  it  altogether,  while  others  suf- 
fer from  it  invariably — no  amount  of  experience  or 
'precaution  securing  for  them  an  exemption. 

I  have  crossed  the  ocean  many  times,  and  since  my 
first  voyage  I  have  never  experienced  the  slightest 
symptom  of  this  malady,  while  Captain  Nye  told 
me  that,  although  he  had  been  a  "sailor-man  "  for 
more  than  thirty  years,  he  never  escaped  an  attack 
of  sea-sickness  after  leaving  shore.  The  very  young 
and  the  aged  are  but  little  liable  to  it,  and  readily 
recover  when  attacked.  I  am  convinced  that  the 
affection  is  a  composite  phenomenon,  resulting 
from  the  combined  effects  of  shock  to  the  nervous 
system  and  of  the  impression  made  upon  the  sen- 


sorium  by  the  movement  of  the  abdominal  viscera, 
and  the  disturbed  condition  of  the  special  senses. 
The  nerve  centers,  being  surprised  by  the  sudden, 
unusual,  and  varied  movements  to  which  they  are 
exposed,  are  incapable  of  responding  with  adequate 
supplies  of  nerve  force,  and,  hence,  vasor-motor 
disturbances  manifest  themselves  in  deranged  ac- 
tion of  the  heart  and  arteries,  in  anaemia  and 
abnormal  irritability  of  the  brain,  and  in  disturb- 
ances of  the  secerning  organs  generally  ;  while  the 
oscillation  of  the  viscera  contained  in  the  abdomi- 
nal cavity,  especially  the  stomach,  together  with 
the  confused  and  peculiar  impressions  made  upon 
the  vision,  hearing,  taste,  etc.,  completes  the  con- 
dition, makes  up  the  pathological  entity,  to  which 
the  term  sea-sickness  is  applied.  The  gastric  dis- 
turbances, which  constitute  the  most  prominent 
symptoms  and  the  chief  sources  of  discomfort,  are 
essentially  secondary  or  reflex  phenomena,  and 
should  not  be  confounded  with  the  disease  itself — 
should  not  be  taken  for  causes 'when  they  are  really 

The  attack  begins  with  a  sense  of  giddiness  and 
a  feeling  of  sinking  about  the  epigastrium,  which 
are  speedily  followed  by  nausea,  vomiting,  loath- 
ing for  food,  a  state  of  mental  depression  bordering 
on  despair,  constipation  of  the  bowels,  and  cold- 
ness of  the  extremities.  The  matters  vomited  are 
acid,  and  contain  mucus  and  large  quantities  of 
bile.  The  emesis  continues  or  is  reproduced  whe  i- 
ever  food  is  seen  or  thought  of.  A  certain  amount 
of  bile  finds  its  way  into  the  stomach,  as  there  is  a 
tendency  to  regurgitation.  Indeed,  it  seems  legiti- 
mate to  conclude  that  the  constipation  which  char- 
acterizes this  affection  is  due  in  a  measure  to  the 
fact  that  bile  does  not  flow  downward  into  the  in- 
testines, but  upward  into  the  stomach.     As  a  gen- 

148  A  doctor's  experiences 

era!  rule,  the  nervous  system  gradually  becomes 
accustomed  to  its  surroundings,  and  learns  to  ac- 
commodate itself  to  the  new  condition  of  things  ; 
the  shocks  are  less  felt  and  more  appropriately  re- 
sponded to  ;  the  circulation  gradually  regains  its 
equilibrium  ;  the  brain  grows  more  insensible  to 
disturbances  through  the  special  senses  ;  the  condi- 
tions which  invite  and  facilitate  reflex  phenouiena 
are  removed,  and  the  symptoms  dependent  upon 
them  ameliorate  or  subside  ;  and  convalescence 
begins  and  continues  until  the  normal  state  of 
health  is  re-established. 

Sometimes,  however,  reaction  is  delayed,  and  a 
chronic  condition  of  nervous  exhaustion  remains, 
which  is  characterized  by  a  constant  disposition  to 
vomit,  coldness  of  the  extremities,  a  sense  of  con- 
striction about  the  temples,  attacks  of  syncope, 
insomnia  or  the  opposite  condition,  and  profound 
constipation.  Then,  again,  there  is  occasionally 
associated  with  the  subsidence  of  the  more  acute 
symptoms  a  febrile  state  either  with  or  without 
gastritis,  cerebritis  or  other  local  complication. 

With  some  nervous  persons,  especially  those 
who  have  been  unable  to  relieve  themselves  by 
vomiting,  there  is  swooning  with  hysterical  mani- 
festations of  every  known  type  and  degree. 

It  is  a  popular  impression  that  pregnant  women 
abort  at  sea.  On  the  contrary  as  a  general  rule 
they  do  very  well,  especially  if  the  voyage  be  made 
after  the  third  and  htfore  the  seventh  month  of 
uterine  gestation,  as  I  have  learned  from  extensive 
observation.  It  has  become  fashionable  of  late  for 
the  newly  married  to  take  a  trip  abroad,  and  many 
a  reluctant  sweetheart  is  made  a  happy  wife  by  the 
promise  of  such  an  excursion,  not  remembering 
that  ''some  things  ma}"  happen  as  well  as  others" 
over  the  sea.    Indeed,  I  look  forward  with  confidence 


to  an  annual  harvest  from  the  nauseated  and  dis- 
gusted bi'ides,  who  instead  of  having  the  gk)rious 
time  abroad  which  fancy  had  pictured  under  the  in- 
spiration of  love's  young  dream,"  are  compelled  to 
pass  their  honeymoons  in  cheerless  hotels  or  dismal 
pensions^  nauseated  beyond  expression  or  vomiting 
themselves  nearly  to  death,  and  h4rrassed  by  the 
apprehension  of  their  inability  to  return  home  until 
a  baby  and  a  nurse  have  been  added  to  the  menage. 
I  generally  succeed  in  soothing  their  rebellious 
stomachs  by  the  liberal  employment  of  the  bro- 
mides, ingluvin  and  the  oxalate  of  cerium,  and  in 
relieving  their  anxious  minds  by  th.Q  assurance 
that  they  can  recross  the  ocean  by  quietly  waiting 
until  the  third  month  of  pregnancy  has  passed.  I 
believe  that  I  have  been  thanked  on  account  of  this 
assurance  as  often  and  as  emphatically  as  for  any 
other  professional  work  and  without  a  mishap  in 
any  instance.  When  a  woman  in  an  interesting 
condition  crosses  the  sea,  there  seems  to  be  ''a  little 
cherub  sitting  up  aloft' '  especially  commissioned  to 
protect  her  and  the  helpless  babe  she  bears  ;  and 
you  know  that  Denman  long  ago  declared  that 
"she  who  vomits  most  aborts  least  as  a  general 

,1  have  noticed  one  thing  which  is  rather  strange 
and  difficult  to  account  for ;  in  many  instances 
after  attacks  of  sea-sickness  the  menstrual  flow  does 
not  recur  for  a  month  or  tv/o  ;  though  the  per- 
manganate of  potash  in  two  grain  doses  three  times 
daily,  for  three  or  four  days  before  the  expected 
period,  will  generally  reproduce  it. 

The  treatment  of  sea-sickness  divides  itself  natu- 
rally into  the  employment  o^ preventive  and  of  cura- 
tive measures. 

I  am  convinced — and  I  speak  advisedly — that  in 
an  immense  majority  of  instances  attacks  of  sea- 

150  A  doctor's  experiences 

sickness  can  be  prevented,  and  by  very  simple 
measures.  Should  you  contemplate  another  sea- 
voyage  j  my  friend,  let  me  advise  you  to  trj^  the  fol- 
lowing plan  of  preventive  treatment:  For  one  week 
before  your  departure  take  twenty  grains  of  the  bro- 
mide of  sodium,,  twenty  grains  of  bicarbonate  of 
soda,  and  one  drachm  of  compound  tincture  of  car- 
damon  in  two  ounces  of  green-mint  water,  t^vo 
hours  after  each  meal  ;  take  a  mild  laxative,  such 
as  Jackson's  aperient,  compound  liquorice  powder 
or  a  seidlitz  powder,  every  third  morning  at  an 
early  hour  ;  eat  liberally  of  simple  and  easily-di- 
gested food  ;  drink  with  your  meals  a  small  quan- 
tity of  the  stimulant  to  which  you  are  most  accus- 
tomed ;  and  live  as  much  as  possible  in  the  open 
air.  After  getting  on  shipboard,  make  it  a  point 
at  once  to  eat  a  good  meal  of  such  food  as  I  have 
just  referred  to  ;  to  go  on  deck  and  remain  station- 
ary there  ;  and  to  continue  exactly  the  same  treat- 
ment as  I  have  prescribed  for  three  or  four  days, 
when  the  laxative  should  only  be  employed  accord- 
ing to  the  necessities  of  the  system.  After  this,  the 
brpmide  can  be  diminished  by  five  grains  for  each 
dose  until  the  mixture  contains  none  of  it.  Do 
these  things  with  absolute  regularity,  and  I  will 
stake  the  best  hat  of  the  Boulevards  against  the 
poorest  one  in  Baltimore  that  you  will  escape  an 
attack  of  sea-sickness,  and  will  feel  better  when  you 
reach  Liverpool  than  when  you  left  New  York. 

But  if,  perchance,  you  should  find  yourself  sick 
at  sea,  then  carry  out  to  the  letter  the  following 
system  of  treatment:  go  to  your  state-room,  remove 
your  clothes,  get  into  your  bej'th,  and  keep  your 
head  on  the  same  level  with  your  body ;  inject 
hypodermically  one- quarter  of  a  grain  of  morphia 
with  one-sixtieth  of  a  grain  of  atropia  ;  cover  your- 
self well  and  apply  bottles  of  warm  water  to  your 


feet,  a  bag  of  hot  water  to  your  spine,  and  a  com- 
press saturated  with  a  mixture  of  the  tincture  of 
iDelladonna  and  camphor  water  to  the  epigastrium, 
keeping  it  in  position  by  means  of  a  bandage  tied 
tightly  around  the  body  ;  stuff  your  ears  with  cot- 
ton wool,  tie  a  handkerchief  over  your  eyes,  and 
smell  cologne  water  or  some  agreeable  perfume 
from  time  to  time  ;  purify  the  atmosphere  of  your 
state-room  with  some  disinfectant  of  a  pleasant  odor, 
say  the  spray  of  thymol  or  eucalyptus,  or  by  burn- 
ing some  aromatized  pastile  ;  have  the  receptacle 
for  the  matters  vomited  perfumed  and  kept  out  of 
sight  until  it  is  required  for  use  ;  take  ten  grains 
of  the  bromide  of  sodium,  ten  grains  of  the  bicar- 
bonate of  soda,  and  one  teaspoonful  of  com- 
pound tincture  of  cardamon  in  an  ounce  of  green- 
mint  water  every  second  hour,  and  a  half  glass  of 
milk  with  one  tablespoonful  of  lime-water  and  two 
teaspoonfuls  of  brandy  or  old  julep,  or  kirsch,  each 
alternate  hour,  for  six  consecutive  hours,  unless 
sleep  be  induced  in  the  mean  time. 

At  the  earliest  possible  moment  of  recuperation 
go  or  be  carried  on  deck  and  keep  in  a  reclining 
position  there,  well  wrapped  up  ;  and  finally,  de- 
crease the  remedies  or  extend  the  time  for  their 
administration  and  get  back  to  your  usual  food 
through  the  intermediaries  of  beef  tea,  milk  toast, 
farinaceous  substances  generally,  ice-cream,  etc. 
Be  sure  not  to  surfeit  yourself  with  fruit,  for  it  is 
only  refreshing  and  diverting,  and  take  care  to 
drink  not  more  than  three  or  four  sherry  glasses  of 
champagne  during  the  day  if  it  be  taken  at  all. 
Do  not  forget  to  take  a  mikU laxative  on  the  suc- 
ceeding morning,  and  afterward  when  indicated. 
This  treatment  will  cure  you  promptly,  and  when 
the  attack  is  over  you  will  find  that  you  have  not 
lost  strength,  and  are  in  condition  to  gratify  the 

152  A  doctor's  experiences 

ravenous  appetite  whicli  usually  comes  after  an  at- 
tack of  sea-sickness. 

The  great  point  to  keep  in  mind  is  that  hromin- 
ism  antagonises  that  combination  of  morbid  con- 
ditions which  constitutes  sea-sickness,  and  that  the 
sooner  it  is  induced  and  the  more  persistently  it  is 
maintained — provided  the  system  be  not  permitted 
to  become  enfeebled  by  it — the  greater  is  the  cer- 
tainty of  preventing  an  attack  and  of  curing  one 
after  it  has  been  developed. 

I  made  the  acquaintance  of  some  charming  peo- 
ple, notably  the  Horners,  of  Philadelphia,  Dr.  Epps, 
of  Virginia,  Miss  Matilda  Heron,  Dr.  and  Mrs. 
George,  of  Baltimore,  with  several  of  whom  I  had 
pleasant  associations  afterward,  as  I  shall  relate 
in  the  progress  of  this  narrative.  At  Liverpool  I 
stopped  at  the  Adelphi  Hotel,  which  was  then  the 
principal  house  of  the  city,  and  still  compares  favor- 
ably with  its  more  modern  and  pretentious  rivals. 
In  this  connection  I  would  say  that  my  experience 
of  depot  hotels  has  been  unfortunate.  As  a  general 
thing  their  principal  stock  in  trade  is  convenience 
of  location,  while  their  guests  get  less  of  substan- 
tial comfort  and  more  of  unblushing  impudence  for 
their  money  than  those  of  any  other  public  houses 
upon  this  side  of  the  "water."  Certainly  they 
are  the  darkest  holes  in  existence,  to  judge  from 
the  number  of  bougies  which  illuminate  V addition — 
it  should  be  called  la  multiplication — with  which 
their  directors  delight  to  speed  the  parting  guest. 

I  remember  having  been  compelled  to  pay  on  one 
occasion  for  twenty-four  candles  which  "mine  host" 
declared  had  been  consumed  in  two  bed-chambers 
between  the  hours  of  six  and  ten  P..  M.,  in  a  single 
night.  A  remonstrance,  made  in  the  mildest 
manner,  only  resulted  in  the  payment  of  the  bill 
on  my  part,  and  in  a  threat  by  the  proprietor  to 


have  me  arrested  as  a  swindler.  Siicli  is  the  wicked- 
ness of  the  workl  ! 

On  the  second  day  after  my  arrival  I  visited  a 
small  manufacturing  town  about  sixty  miles  from 
Liverpool.  The  object  of  this  visit  was  to  take  a 
small  amount  of  money  which  a  friend  of  mine — 
an  Englishman  residing  in  America^  had  sent  to  his 
aged  mother.  He  had  requested  me  specially  to 
deliver  it  into  her  hands,  thinking  she  w^ould  be 
pleased  to  see  one  who  knew  him  personally,  and 
who  could  tell  her  about  him  and  his  family. 

My  friend  had  been  successful  in  business,  and 
having  married  a  lady  of  position,  had  brought  up 
his  children  to  consider  themselves  aristocrats. 

I  had  great  difficulty  in  finding  the  object  of  my 
search,  as  there  was  nothing  to  indicate  the  name 
of  the  street,  and  no  numbers  by  w^hich  to  distin- 
guish the  houses.  Finally,  by  diligent  inquiry, 
and  the  help  of  a  policeman  whose  language  I  could 
understand,  I  found  the  residence  of  the  lady. 
Ringing  the  bell,  an  old  woman  presented  herself, 
clad  in  a  calico  frock  which  had  seen  better  days, 
with  a  white  cotton  cap  on  her  head  and  the 
stump  of  a  pipe  in  her  mouth,  to  whom  I  made  my- 
self known  and  stated  the  object  of  my  visit.  Fol- 
lowing her  into  the  humble  abode — for,  though  I 
could  not  understand  a  w^ord  that  she  said  as  she 
spoke  the  Lancashire  dialect,  I  saw  from  her  gestures 
that  she  desired  me  to  enter  —  I  immediately 
begged  her  to  find  an  interpreter,  which  she  did 
in  the  person  of  one  of  her  granddaughters,  a 
factory  girl  of  eighteen.  While  she  could  under- 
stand me  the  young  lady  had  to  speak  for  her,  and 
we  had  a  long  talk  together  in  regard  to  her  son 
and  his  children.  Though  she  plied  me  wdth 
questions,  I  saw  from  her  sighs^  tears  and  down- 
cast eyes  that  there  was  something  on  her  mind 

154  A  doctor's  experiences 

which,  though  it  troubled  her  greath^  she 
hesitated  to  ask  about.     Finally  I  said  to  her  : 

^'  Madam,  I  ara  about  to  leave  you,  and  if  there 
is  any  further  information  I  can  give,  don't  hesitate 
to  call  for  it.  I  shall  be  happy  to  answer  your 

^' Well,  sir,"  she  said,  growing  red  in  the  face 
and  twisting  the  corner  of  her  apron  violently, 
^Hhere  is  one  more  question  I  would,  indeed,  like 
to  ask.  It  is  concerning  a  subject  that  has  caused 
me  many  anxious  thoughts,  but  that  I  feel  a 
delicacy  in  talking  about." 

'^I  am  at  your  service,  madam;  do  just  as 
you  think  best,"  said  I,  offering  my  hand,  pre- 
paratory to  leaving. 

"Oh,  I  can't  let  you  go  without  getting  satis- 
faction about  the  thing  that  has  worried  me  so 
much^  for  it  has  been  near  upon  thirty  years  that 
I  have  thought  about  it  and  prayed  over  it,  and  so 
wished  to  know  the  exact  truth  in  regard  to  it." 

"I  shall  be  happy  to  put  your  mind  at  rest  if  I 
can.     What  would  you  like  to  know?" 

"Well,  if  I  must  I  must,  but  you  won't  tell 
James  that  I  asked  you.  What  I  want  to  know  is 
this  :   are  my  grandchildren  very  black  .?" 

"  I  confess  that  I  do  not  know  what  you  mean, 
Mrs.  P.     Are  your  grandchildren  black  T' 

"  Yes,  that  is  what  I  asked;  and  you  don't  know 
how  it  has  pained  me  to  think  that  James'  children 
are  black.  Are  they  very  black — as  black  as  their 

"  Why,  madam,  their  mother  is  not  a  negress. 
She  is  as  white  as  you  or  I,  and  so  are  her  children. 
What  could  have  put  such  an  idea  into  your  head?" 

"  Thank  the  Lord  !  Thank  the  good  Lord  !  I 
knew  James  had  married  an  American  woman,  and 
I  concluded  of  course  that   her  children  had   her 


complexion.     And  my  dear  grandchildren  are  white 
after  all  !     Now  I  can  die  in  peace." 

"  Why,  madam,  I  am  an  American  and  not  black, 
as  you  see.     What  did  you  take  me  for?" 

'^Well.  I  can't  say  exactly.  I  thought  you 
might  have  bleached  your  face  white,  or  that  both 
of  your  parents  were  English  folks.  I  am  so  glad 
that  you  came.  I  am  happier  to-day  than  I  have 
been  for  thirty  long,  long  years,  for  I  have  been 
thinking  all  that  time  that  my  grandchildren  were 
black,  and  praying  the  Lord  to  take  some  of  the 
color  out  of  them.     Are  you  not  deceiving  me?" 

''No,  madam,  I  am  not  deceiving  you,  and  I 
rejoice  that  I  have  been  the  means  of  thus  relieving 
and  comforting  you.  It  is  worth  a  passage  across 
the  Atlantic  to  be  the  bearer  of  information  which 
has  given  you  so  much  pleasure." 

And  I  left  her  crying  and  thanking  the  Lord  and 
blessing  me — the  happiest  woman  in  all  England 
that  day. 

I  have  since  found  out  that  it  is  a  common  belief 
among  the  lower  classes  in  England  that  all  Ameri- 
cans are  black,  and  hence  the  sorrow  which  had 
possessed  this  old  woman's  soul  for  so  many  years, 
and  the  joy  which  my  coming  brought  to  her. 

Many  times  afterward  when  I  saw  her  son's 
family  flourishing  in  society,  and  assuming  the  airs 
of  aristocrats,  I  recalled  the  poor  old  woman  over 
the  ocean  and  the  smile  of  joy  which  illuminated 
her  countenance  when  she  learned  that  her  grand- 
children were  not  black,  and  that  her  son  had  after 
all  married  a  white  woman. 

Such  is  American  aristocracy — its  roots  often 
running  to  a  tattered  calico  gown  or  to  a  ''bob- 
tail" tobacco  pipe  in  "  the  old  countrie  !" 

These  were  good  people  at  heart,  despite  their 
aristocratic  assumptions,  and  when  I  saw  them  re- 

156  A  doctor's  experiences 

duced  to  poverty  by  the  war  and  compelled  to  work 
as  their  fathers  had  done  before  them,  my  heart 
went  out  to  them  in  a  full  tide  of  regret  and  sym- 
pathy. So  runs  the  world  away,  and  it  is  thus  that 
the  pride  is  taken  out  of  men  in  ways  which  they 
have  not  calculated  upon  or  dreamed  of. 

Speaking  of  mushroom  aristocracy  reminds  me 
of  an  incident  which  occurred  a  few  years  since  at 
a  European  watering-place,  where,  for  the  nonce, 
it  was  reigning  triumphantly.  An  American  gen- 
tleman, Mr.  P.,  of  New  Orleans,  was  spending  the 
summer  there  very  quietly,  but  as  he  had  neither 
the  talent  nor  the  inclination  to  court  ''the  set" 
who  had  appropriated  the  place,  they  turned  up 
their  noses  at  him  and  condemned  him  to  an  absolute 
social  ostracism. 

One  day  I  overheard  the  following  conversation 
between  a  real  American  lady,  who  had  married  a 
foreigner  of  distinction,  and  a  ''young  blood"  not 
remarkable  for  his  intelligence  or  for  his  indepen- 
dence of  character  : 

"Well,  Mr.  X.,"  she  said,  "do  tell  me  what 
you  all  have  against  Mr.  P.,  for  he  seems  to  be  a 
gentleman,  and  to  have  as  much  money  as  the  rest 
of  you?" 

"Oh!  I  have  nothing  against  him  personally, 
but  they  do  say  some  rather  hard  things  about 

"  What  do  they  say  about  him  ?" 

"  I  don't  want  to  be  mixed  up  with  the  affair, 
and  don't  like  to  mention  what  they  charge  him 
with . ' ' 

"  Do  they  reflect  on  his  moral  character  ?" 

"No  ;  not  at  all." 

"  Do  they  question  his  intelligence  ?" 

"  No." 
"Do  they  doubt  his  integrity?" 


"  Do  they  say  that  he  is  poor?" 


"  Then  I  insist  upon  knowing  what  they  do  say 
to  his  discredit." 

"Well;,  madam,  entrenous,  and  in  the  strictest 
confidence — but  mind,  I  know  nothing  about  it  my- 
self—  they  say  that  he  actually  commenced  life  as  a 
shoemaker,  and  made  his  money  by  getting  a  run 
on  his  gaiters." 

"And  you  had  cut  him  on  that  account  ?" 

"Well,  yes;  I  was  obliged  to  do  it.  They  all 
cut  him  for  it,  and  I  had  to  do  the  same." 

"  Now,  just  let  me  say  a  word  to  you,  Mr.  X., 
and  you  must  not  be  offended  :  I  knew  your  father 
when  he  kept  a  candy  shop  in  the  Bowery,  and  I 
knew  the  ancestors  of  every  one  in  your  '  set,'  and 
they  all  kept  shops  or  worked  for  a  living.  Now, 
we  are  a  nation  of  shop-keepers  and  working-men, 
and  for  Americans  to  come  abroad  and  put  on  such 
airs  as  you  and  your  friends  are  assuming  here  is 
simply  ridiculous.  Even  if  Mr.  P.  was  originally 
a  shoemaker,  and  has  accumulated  enough  money 
to  educate  himself,  and  nothing  can  be  said  against 
his  character  or  his  deportment,  those  who  '  throw 
stones'  at  him  ought  to  remember  what  their 
fathers  were  and  who  they  are.  My  husband  shall 
call  on  him  to-morrow  and  invite  him  to  our  house, 
so  as  to  show  him  that  he  is  not  surrounded  entirely 
by  snobs  and  parvenus.  Such  conduct  as  you  and 
your  '  set'  have  been  guilty  of  makes  me  blush 
for  my  country,  while  it  excites  universal  disgust 
with  the  respectable  people  of  this  community." 

The   young    man,  though  not  a   Solomon,  was 

good-hearted  aufond,  and  he  promptly  answered  : 

"You  strong,  Mrs.  Y.,  but  you  are  right. 

I  am  ashamed  of  the  part  I  have  taken   in  this 

158  A  doctor's  experiences 

matter,  aad  I,  too,  shall  call  on  him  and  treat  him 
hereafter  as  a  gentleman.  Besides,  there  is  na 
proof  that  he  was  a  shoemaker,  and  he  certainl}^ 
dresses  as  well  as  the  best  of  them.'' 

Both  parties  carried  out  their  intentions,  and  in 
a  few  days  there  was  a  complete  reaction  in  favor 
of  the  quondam  shoemaker,  and  nothing  further 
was  said  to  his  discredit. 

I  had  made  the  acquaintance  on  ship-hoard  of 
a  young  American  woman  who  was  en  route  to 
France,  at  the  invitation  of  the  Emperor  to  intro- 
duce the  sewing-machine,  and  I  had  the  good  for- 
tune to  meet  her  and  her  friends  again  at  the  sta- 
tion and  to  travel  with  them  to  -Paris.  I  was 
struck  with  her  intelligence  and  her  independence 
of  character,  and  I  bade  her  adieu,  fully  partici- 
pating in  her  bright  anticipations  of  the  future, 
but  never  expecting  to  see  her  again.  More  than 
twenty-five  years  afterward  I  returned  to  Paris, 
arid  one  of  my  first  patients  was  the  wife  of  a  lead- 
ing American  dentist.  After  having  known  her 
for  several  years,  and  having  prescribed  for  her 
frequently,  I  was  struck  one  day  with  something 
in  the  tones  of  her  voice  which  set  me  thinking  of 
the  past. 

"Will  you  excuse  me,'-'  said  I,  "if  I  ask  you 
when  you  first  came  to  Paris?" 

"Certainly.     It  was  in  the  winter  of  1854." 

"And  you  crossed  the  ocean  in  the  Pacific?" 


"And  you  came  at  the  invitation  of  the  Emperor 
to  introduce  and  explain  the  sewing-machine?" 

"  Yes.     But  who  made  you  so  wise?" 

"  Do  you  remember  one  of  ycwir  fellow-passen- 
gers— a  young  physician  who  w^as  coming  abroad 
to  study  his  profession,  and  who  took  a  great  lik- 
ing to  you?" 



'^  1  remember  him  perfectly,  though  I  have  for- 
gotten his  name.  He  was  certainly  very  polite, 
and  I  have  often  wondered  what  had  become  of 
him.     Do  you  know  him?" 

"Yes,  madam,  I  have  known  him  intimately 
for  years.  His  name  is  Warren,  and  he  stands  be- 
fore you.     I  am  the  man.'' 

"Impossible!  Absolutely  impossible.  Doctor! 
You  are  only  joking." 

"But  why  impossible?" 

"  Simply  because — because — he  was  a  far  better 
lookino;  man  than  vou  are,  if  vou  will  excuse  me 
for  saying  so." 

"Ah,  madam,  he  had  the  advantage  of  me  by 
twenty-five  years,  and  in  the  fact  that  he  had 
never  known  then  a  real  care  or  sorrow  ;  but,  nev- 
ertheless, he  and  I  are  one  and  the  same  man.  I 
am  what  remains  of  the  young  doctor  who  crossed 
the  ocean  with  you." 

"  Then  I  am  doubly  your  friend — for  the  good 
you  have  done  me  professionally  and  for  old  ac- 
quaintance sake  as  well,"  she  said,  shaking  me 
warmly  by  the  hand  ;  and  I  can  add  that  I  have 
never  had  a  more  faithful  friend  in  Paris. 

When  I  questioned  her  about  the  sewing-ma- 
chine and  the  millions  that  she  supposed  to  be  in 
it,  she  told  me  substantially  the  same  story  which 
I  have  heard  from  so  many  of  my  fellow-country- 
men, who  have  sought  to  realize  fortunes  by  intro- 
ducing American  inventions  into  France.  She 
was  well  received  ;  she  had  an  audience  with  the 
Emperor,  and  she  worked  the  machine  to  his  en- 
tire satisfaction.  It  was  adopted  by  the  govern- 
ment for  the  war  department;  but  instead  of  giv- 
ing her  and  those  she  represented  an  order,  the 
French  authorities  went  quietly  to  work  and  re- 
produced the  machine  from  her  model,  manufac- 

160  A  doctor's  experiences 

tured  as  many  as  they  wanted,  and  left  her  '^  out' 
in  the  cold,'"  with  hut  the  scantiest  remuneration 
and  without  the  slightest  chance  of  redress.  She 
then  had  to  bestir  herself  to  keep  the  wolf  from 
th(^  door — she  had  to  paddle  her  own  canoe  or  to 
go  under,  which  she  did  not  propose  to  do  if  she 
knew  herself.  Many  women  would  have  gone  to 
the  devil,  biit  she  went  to  work,  and  by  the  force 
of  her  own  will  and  her  marriage  with  a  man  who 
though  not  rich  had  the  right  stuff  in  him,  she 
has  come  to  be  prosperous  and  is  in  a  fair  way  to 
make  a  fortune.  As  I  feel  a  personal  interest  in 
this  good  woman's  fight  witii  the  world  and  its 
fortunate  issue,  I  take  delight  in  chronicling  it 
here  as  an  illustration  of  what  American  pluck 
can  do  when  it  unfurls  its  flag  and  takes  the  field, 
whatever  may  be  the  odds  against  it  or  however  • 
adverse  the  circumstances  by  which  it  is  sur- 

Her  husband  has  a  history  as  well,  and  an  honor- 
able one.  Though  a  native  of  Ohio — the  mother  of 
lucky  men — he  was  residing  in  Mississippi  when 
the  war  broke  out,  and  the  "conscription,"  which 
respected  neither  age,  nor  condition,  nor  antece- 
dents, put  him  in  the  army  and  sent  him  to  the 
front.  Out  of  respect  for  his  weight  and  proportions^ 
he  was  promoted  from  his  place  as  high  private  to 
the  position  of  chief  cook  of  the  regiment,  and  when 
Fort  Pillow  fell  he  was  carried  to  Elmira  and  im- 
prisoned in  the  stockades.  There  his  friends  found 
him  and  secured  his  liberation,  supposing  he  would 
hasten  to  take  up  arms  against  those  who  had 
made  him  a  soldier  malgre  lui  and  condemned  him 
to  boil  greens  in  the  kitchen  rather  than  reap 
laurels  in  the  trenches.  The  sequel  shows  that 
there  was  something  besides  adipose  in  that  capa- 
cious breast  of  his  ;  for,  remembering  the  kindness 


which  he  had  received  at  the  hands  of  his  South ~ 
ern  friends,  and  feeling  no  resentment  against  a 
law  which  though  harsh  in  its  operations  was  a 
necessity  in  itself,  he  resolved  to  remain  a  neutral 
in  the  fight.  Influenced  by  these  feelings  he  came 
to  Paris,  weak  in  purse  but  strong  in  the  knowl- 
edge of  his  art,  and  in  that  courage  which  awaits 
its  opportunity  and  then  goes  in  and  wins.  When 
the  Commune  raised  its  blood-stained  banner  and 
attempted  to  make  up  in  atrocity  that  which  it 
wanted  in  courage — appalling  mankind  and  dis- 
gracing humanity  and  outraging  heaven  by  the 
very  wantonness  of  its  crimes — he  was  residing  in 
the  neighborhood  of  the  Madeleine.  Finding  one 
day  a  poor  priest  in  danger  of  his  life  from  the  in- 
furiated rabble,  he  rescued  him  at  great  personal 
risk,  carried  him  to  his  apartment,  and  gave  him 
an  asylum  there  until  the  peril  had  passed  and 
order  was  restored.  Though  not  a  Catholic  in  re- 
ligion, for  this  act  of  mercy  and  heroism  the  Pope 
created  him  a  "Chevalier  of  the  Order  of  8t. 
Gregory,"  the  King  of  Spain  made  him  a  "  Knight 
of  the  Order  of  Isabella  the  Catholic,"  the  French 
government  gave  him  the  "  Cross  of  the  Legion  of 
Honor,"  and  the  congregation  of  the  church  over- 
whelmed him  with  a  patronage  from  which  he  is 
reaping  a  golden  harvest.  From  this  you  will  see 
that  the  husband  of  my  old  friend  of  the  "  Pacific 
is  no  ordinary  man — that  he  is,  in  fact,  a  hero  and 
a  humanitarian.  His  name  is  E.  B,  Loud,  and  he 
resides  on  the  Boulevard  Malesherbes,  where  he 
pursues  his  vocation  as  humbly  and  as  successfully 
as  if  his  life  was  passed  without  an  incident  or  an 
honor.  > 

162  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

On  my  arrival  at  Paris  I  put  up  at  the  Hotel  de 
Lille  et  cV Albion,  wliicli  then  occupied  the  present 
site  of  the  Hotel  St.  James  in  the  Rue  St.  Honore, 
and  joined  my  friend  Dr.  Epps,  who  had  preceded 
me  by  a  day  or  two. 

One  of  the  earliest  and  most  agreeable  of  my  ex- 
periences was  a  dinner  given  by  Dr.  Epps  at  Phil- 
lippes — then  noted  for  its  fish  specialties — for  it 
proved  at  once  the  source  of  new  sensations  and  of 
enduring  memories.  Since  then  I  have  been  en- 
abled to  appreciate  the  significance  of  the  exclama- 
tion which  couples  the  "  Gods  and  the  little  fishes, '^ 
and  I  have  felt  assured  that  the  invocation  originated 
with  the  primal  ancestor  of  the  cook  who  conceived 
the  dainty  dishes  upon  which  we  regaled  ourselves 
on  that  memorable  occasion. 

In  those  times  the  Palais  Royale  was  the  center 
from  which  emanated  the  laws  of  gastronomy  for 
the  world.  Its  restaurants  and  cafes  surpassed  in 
the  splendor  of  their  appointments,  the  magnifi- 
cence of  their  cuisines  and  the  richness  of  their 
caves  all  that  epicurianism  had  previously  dreamed 
of.  Their  chefs  were  known  and  their  menus  were 
sought  after  wherever  the  language  of  France  was 
spoken  and  as  far  as  her  renown  had  penetrated.  In 
truth,  the  French  people  having  been  diverted  from 


the  eternal  study  of  politics  by  the  strong  hand  of 
their  new  master,  had  abandoned  themselves  to  the 
gratification  of  their  appetites,  and  transformed 
the  abodes  of  their  former  kings  into  temples  of 
gluttony,  wherein  sensuality  held  perpetual  carni- 
val, with  cooks  and  caterers  as  its  high  priests  and 

It  was,  indeed^  a  new  revelation  to  wander 
through  the  long  corridors,  so  rich  in  architectural 
treasures  and  historic  associations,  and  to  w^atch 
the  throngs  of  gourmands  as  they  hurried  to  the 
groaning  tables,  and  to  listen  to  the  perpetual  re- 
frain of  clinking  glasses  and  hilarious  laughter 
and  hurrying  feet,  and  the  commingling  voices  of 
impatient  guests  and  obsequious  garcons,  which 
told  of  the  saturnalia  that  reigned  within. 

With  the  overthrow  of  the  empire  and  the  in- 
auguration of  the  special  political  era  which  ha& 
succeeded  it — for  from  the  humblest  chiffonier  to 
the  serenest  prince  every  Frenchman  is  now  devot- 
ing himself  to  public  affairs — epicurianism  has 
waned  and  the  glory  of  the  Palais  Koyale  has  de- 

This  reversion  of  the  popular  mind  to  politics — 
to  the  overthrow  of  cabinets,  the  making  of  presi- 
dents, and  the  establishment  of  dynasties,  together 
with  the  fact  that  fickle  fashion  has  turned  its  face 
up-townward,  has  left  that  quartier  almost  exclu- 
sively to  the  frequenters  of  second-class  brasseries y 
dealers  in  imitation  jewelry,  keepers  of  tobacco 
shops  and  foreign  tourists,  who  with  red  guide  books 
and  dust-covered  garments  can  be  daily  found  there 
collecting  materials  for  their  diaries,  and  doing 
Paris  to  their  own  satisfaction  and  to  the  utter  dis- 
gust of  its  inhabitants. 

While  Les  Irois  Freres,  Phillippes,  VefourSy 
etc.,    have   become   things   of    the   past,  Bignon, 


Voisin,  and  the  Cafe  Anglais  have  "come  to  the 
front,"'  and  though  less  frequented  than  their 
predecessors  in  puhlic  favor,  they  are  likely  to  con- 
tinue la  mode  until  society  has  assumed  a  new 
phase  under  the  impetus  of  another  revolution. 

What  strange  creatures  are  the  French  !  They 
are  happy  only  when  the}^  have  found  a  new  ob- 
ject upon  which  to  lavish  their  caresses  or  to  ex- 
pend their  malignity — something  to  crown  either 
with  laurels  or  with  thorns.  Their  element  is  ex- 
tremes, whether  it  be  in  the  worship  of  kings  or  of 
regicides — the  deification  of  their  consciences  or 
the  indulgence  of  their  passions — the  annihilation 
of  their  enemies  or  the  destruction  of  each  other.. 
And  yet  where  would  art  and  science  and  civil- 
ization be  without  them?  What  people  have  ex- 
pended their  treasures  and  spent  their  blood  so 
lavishly  for  humanity?  What  page  in  history  is 
illustrated  with  nobler  sacrifices  and  more  glorious 
deeds  than  theirs?  1  must  confess  that  when  I 
contemplate  the  "red  ribbon"  upon  my  breast, 
and  remember  that  it  represents  "  the  Legion  of 
Honor  of  France,"  my  heart  beats  with  a  quicker 
impulse  and  a  prouder  thrill,  and  I  feel  that  it 
transcends  in  value  all  the  honors  which  the  na- 
tions of  the  earth  combined  could  give. 

The  great  rivals  of  the  cafe^  as  well  as  of  the 
domestic  circle  are  the  clubs  of  Paiis.  Since  the 
limitation  of  lyuhlic  gambling  to  the  principality  of 
Monaco,  'private  play  has  assumed  enormous  pro- 
portions. Like  a  great  colossus  it  now  bestrides 
society,  while  religion  and  morality  lie  writhing 
beneath  its  feet.  The  propensity  to  seek  recreation 
or  occupation  in  gambling  seems  to  be  the  predomi- 
nating impulse  of  the  modern  Frenchman.  Feel- 
ing its  domination  and  appreciating  its  power,'  he 
makes  no   attempt  at  resistance,  and  becomes   at 

IN    THREE   CONTINENTS.  '  165 

once  its  slave  and  its  victim.  The  very  fact  of  the- 
law's  intervention  gives  a  keener  relish  to  its  in- 
dulgence, by  appealing  to  his  natural  inclination  to 
rebellion  and  to  his  inherent  love  of  excitement. 
Cupidity  also  plays  an  important  role  in  stimulat- 
ing this  vicious  appetite,  for  a  passion  for  dis- 
play and  a  devotion  to  pleasure  cannot  be  indulged 
in  without  money,  and  the  gaming  table  offers, 
consequently,  a  special  and  perpetual  temptation 
to  the  gentlemen  of  this  country. 

With  strange  inconsistency,  public  gambling  is 
made  a  crime  while  private  gambling  is  encouraged 
by  the  licensing  of  circles,  which  are  notoriously 
organized  for  its  indulgence.  While  chiefly  used 
for  this  purpose  they  possess,  nevertheless,  all  the 
appurtenances  of  veritable  clubs,  and  they  seek  to 
rival  each  other  in  the  excellence  of  their  caves 
and  the  magnificence  of  their  cuisines  as  a  means 
of  attracting  membersliip  and  of  securing  the  at- 
tendance of  those  whose  names  are  already  upon 
their  rolls.  It  is  tlius  that  they  have  become  the 
successful  rivals  of  the  cafes  as  well  as  the  de- 
stroyers of  the  home  life  of  the  Parisians. 

From  what  I  have  seen  of  the  effect  of  tlie  legal 
restrictions  imposed  upon  public  gambling,  I  am 
convinced  that  it  would  be  far  wiser  either  to  pro- 
hibit play  entirely  or  to  license  ma.isons  de  Jeu,. 
placing  them  under  strict. police  surveillance. 

When  certain  myopic  philanthropists  have  suc- 
ceeded in  their  crusade  against  Monaco — which  is 
the  "  last  lone  asylum  "  of  gambling  in  Europe — 
so  far  from  stamping  out  this  vice,  as  they  exjject 
to  do,  they  will  find  that  they  have  only  stimulated 
and  increased  it ;  that  while  damming  the  stream 
and  closing  its  outlet,  they  have  only  caused  it  to 
overflow  its  banks  and  to  cover  a  wider  area.  The 
scenes  which   now  disgrace  Monte   Carlo  will  then 

166  A  doctor's  experiences 

be  repeated  in  every  capital  of  Europe  and  es- 
pecially in  Paris,  with  an  increased  frec[uency  and 
an  exaggeration  of  incident. 

I  am  no  advocate  of  gambling  or  apologist  for 
tbe  gambler — on  the  contrary,  I  abhor  the  one  and 
despise  the  other — but  I  am  convinced  that  there 
are  certain  weaknesses  or  vices  of  human  nature 
which  must  have  their  ''  run  "  in  spite  of  every 
effort  to  prevent  them,  and  that  it  is  wiser  to  direct 
and  regulate  them  than  to  attempt  the  useless  task 
of  proscribing  them  by  an  appeal  to  legal  enact- 
ments. How  many  drunkards  have  been  reformed 
by  the  Maine  liquor  law  ?  To  what  extent  has  the 
€ause  of  temperance  been  promoted  by  prohibitory 
enactments  ? 

By  the  kind  assistance  of  Dr.  Epps,  I  was  soon 
installed  at  No.  10,  Rue  de  Buci,  in  the  famous 
Latin  Quartier,  and  I  went  diligently  to  work  visit- 
ing the  hospitals  and  attending  the  lectures  of  such 
of  the  professors  as  had  most  reputation  at  the 
time.  Of  the  hospitals  I  was  most  attracted  by 
the  Hotel  Dieu,  La  Chariie,  Le  Midi,  and  La  Fiiie, 
for  I  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  in  their  wai'ds 
Trousseau,  Velpean,  Piorry,  Robin,  Nelaton,  Jo- 
bert  de  Lambell,  Ricord,  Maissonneuve,  .Audral 
and  Dubois — men  who  have  never  been  surpassed 
in  learning,  skill  and  the  power  of  impressing  the 
minds  of  those  who  listened  to  their  instruction. 
I  regarded  it  as  a  special  blessing  and  privilege 
thus  to  see  and  hear  these  great  men  ;  and  I 
labored  faithfully  to  take  in  and  store  up  the  in- 
iormation  which  they  sought  to  impart  to  their  ad- 
miring students.  Many  a  time  in  after  life^  alike 
amid  the  swamps  of  Carolina,  the  battle-fields  of 
Virginia,  the  sands  of  Egypt,  and  the  quartiers  of 
Paris — in  the  hour  of  supreme  anxiety  and  re- 
sponsibility— I  have  had  occasion  to  avail  myself 

IN   THREE   continents".  167 

of  the  knowledge  which  they  imparted  and  have 
paid  them  the   tribute  of  my  warmest  gratitude. 

With  a  single  exception  all  of  them  have  paid 
the  debt  of  nature,  and  their  places  have  been 
filled  and  the  busy  world  has  forgotten  them  ;  but 
they  still  live  in  the  memory  of  those  who  listened 
to  their  worc^  of  wisdom  and  eloquence  as  well  as 
upon  the  proudest  pages  in  the  history  of  medicine. 

The  only  survivor  of  this  splendid  galaxy  of 
great  men  is  the  venerable  Ricord,  who  at  the  ad- 
vanced age  of  eighty  years  still  pursues  his  pro- 
fession with  a  zeal  and  an  energy  unsurpassed  by 
the  youngest  of  his  brethern.  Nor  is  he  only  an 
accomplished  specialist,  such  as  the  professional 
world  has  long  regarded  him.  He  is  emphatically 
a  great  physician  in  all  regards,  and  as  a  general 
consultant  he  has  few  equals  and  no  superiors.  I 
have  repeatedly  called  on  him  in  difficult  cases  of 
every  variety,  and  I  have  been  invariably  impressed 
by  his  consummate  skill  as  a  diagnostician,  his 
profound  knowledge  of  medicine^  and  the  richness 
and  variety  of  his  store  of  remedial  agents,  together 
with  his  great  urbanity  and  goodness  of  heart. 

He  is,  as  you  know,  a  Marylander  by  birth,  and 
his  attachment  to  his  native  country  and  his  devo- 
tion to  his  compatriots  have  always  been  extreme. 
I  must  confess  that  when  I  have  seen  him  on 
public  occasions — his  breast  covered  with  the  dec- 
orations wliich  he  has  received  for  professional 
triumphs  and  his  devotion  to  humanit}^,  and  the 
object  of  universal  interest  and  respect — I  have  felt 
proud  to  recognize  him  as  an  American,  and  more 
in  love  than  ever  with  my  native  land. 

I  once  asked  him,  ''How  it  was  that  he  had 
managed  to  survive  so  many  of  his  contemporaries, 
and  to  preserve  so  marvelously  his  health  and 
faculties?'*     He  smiled,  and  answered:     "By  re- 

168  A  doctor's  experiences 

solving  not  to  permit  myself  to  become  fatigued — 
by  takinjJT  two  davs  of  holiday  out  of  every  week 
and  spending  at  my  country  seat  in  the  fresh  air, 
removed  from  work  and  responsibility."  He  takes 
no  single  vacation  as  many  of  our  physicians  do  in 
order  to  recuperate  their  wasted  energies,  but  he 
precludes  the  possibility  of  his  becoming  fatigued 
and  prostrated  by  separating  himself  from  the 
cares  and  responsibilities  of  business,  in  the  manner 
that  he  explained  to  me.  The  result  demonstrates 
the  wisdom  of  his  plan  of  prevention,  for  though 
an  octogenarian,  he  is  as  actively  engaged  in  pro- 
fessional work,  and  with  a  mind  as  vigorous  and  a 
zeal  as   fervid   as  when  I  knew  him  thirty  years 


He  is,  indeed,  a  great  and  glorious  old  man,  an 
honor  alike  to  the  country  of  his  nativity  and  of 
his  adoption,  a  shining  light  in  the  profession  of 
his  choice,  and  an  ornament  to  society,  which  he 
still  affects,  and  from  w^hich  he  receives  an  exhaust- 
less  tribute  of  reverence  and  admiration. 

It  is  true  that  the  theories  w^ith  which  he  once 
astonished  the  world  and  made  himself  famous  have 
been  left  amid  the  debris  which  the  stream  of  time 
has  collected  upon  its  shores,  but  it  is  equally 
certain  that  he  made  great  advances  in  his  specialty, 
and  that  his  labors  and  researches  opened  the  way 
to  the  attainment  of  a  far  more  correct  and  certain 
knowledge  of  its  essential  nature  and  clinical 
history  than  would  have  been  possible  without 
them.  If  his  doctrines  did  not  embody  the  absolute 
truth,  they  were  most  closely  related  to  it — they 
were  what  the  '' outer-reef"  is  to  the  "mainland/' 
a  proof  of  its  proximity  and  a  guide  to  its  shores. 
At  any  rate,  the  name  of  Ricord  has  gone  around 
the  world,  and  will  live  while  ^Esculapius  has  a 
temple  or  science  a  worshiper  upon  the  earth. 


I  frequented  the  hospital  of  La  Charlie,  as  I  have 
already  mentioned,  for  I  had  there  an  opportunity 
of  witnessing  the  operations  of  Yelpeau  and  of  hear- 
ing the  clinical  lectures  of  Piorry,  as  well  as  of  re- 
ceiving private  instruction  in  auscultation  and  per- 
cussion from  an  interne  who  has  since  played  a  con- 
spicuous part  in  medicine,  and  of  whom  I  shall 
speak  more  particularly  hereafter. 

We  are  all  prone  to  form,  ideals  of  those  whose 
hooks  we  read  and  of  whom  we  hear  much,  and  I 
naturally  expected  to  find  in  Velpeau  a  man  cast  in 
the  heroic  mold.  You  can  therefore  understand  my 
disappointment  when  I  saw  him  enter  the  arena  at 
La  Charife,  and  found  him  a  bent,  w izen- faced , 
watery-eyed,  desiccated,  diminutive  old  man,  with 
so  indistinct, an  intonation  and  so  rapid  an  enun- 
ciation as  to  render  it  difficult  to  understand  a 
word  he  said.  I  was  about  to  give  expression  to 
my  disappointment  in  a  hasty  retreat  wdien  he  took  a 
knife  in  his  hand,  and  I  determined  to  wait  and  wit- 
ness the  operation  which  he  proposed  to  perform.  In 
an  instant  a  complete  change  came  over  the  man. 
The  touch  of  the  instrument  seemed  to  send  an 
electric  shock  through  his  entire  frame,  unsealing 
the  fountains  of  vitality  and  transforming  him  into 
a  new  being.  The  stoop  disappeared  from  his 
shoulders  and  he  stood  as  erect  and  stately  as  a 
soldier  on  duty ;  his  lack-luster  eyes  regained  their 
normal  brilliancy  and  gleamed  like  those  of  an 
eagle;  his  wrinkled  countenance  expanded  under 
the  stimulus  of  a  more  rapid  blood  current,  and 
assumed  the  hue  and  aspect  of  vigorous  manhood  ; 
and  he  looked  in  all  respects  the  hero  and  the 
surgeon  that  he  was,  and  that  the  world  recognized 
him  to  be. 

From  that  time  forward  I  never  missed  one  of 
his  clinics,  for  I  felt  always  that  I  was  in  the  pres- 

170  A  doctor's  experiences 

eace   of   a  master — of  one  whose  genius  threw  a 
spell  of  fascination  over  all  that  he  said  and  did. 

Piorry  was  not  simply  an  enthusiast  on  the  sub- 
ject of  physical  diagnosis,  but  a  monomaniac.  He 
seemed  to  think  that  the  whole  art  of  ph3^sic  con- 
sisted in  ascertaining  the  nature  and  the  extent  of 
lesions,  and  then  in  verifying  the  diagnoses  by  a 
post  mortem  examination.  With  the  cure  of  disease 
he  did  not  concern  himself,  leaving  the  result  to 
nature  alone.  The  domain  of  therapeutics  was  to 
him  a  terra  incognita,  into  which  he  never  entered 
save  with  halting  steps  and  the  air  of  an  alien  and 
an  intruder. 

I  have  repeatedl}^  seen  him  trace  upon  the  sur- 
face the  exact  seat  and  the  gradual  extension  of  the 
malady,  and  then  patiently  await  the  conclusion, 
in  order  to  demonstrate  the  correctness  of  his  ori- 
ginal diagram.  Strange  to  relate,  the  patients 
soon  accustomed  themselves  to  this  mapping-out 
process,  and  took  as  lively  an  interest  in  the  extend- 
ing lines  as  if  they  were  to  participate  in  their  ul- 
timate verification,  and  in  the  applause  which  was 
to  greet  the  professor's  final  triumph  as  a  diagnos- 
tician and  a  limner.  This  system  of  ante-mortem 
delineation  and  i^ost-mortem  verification  of  pen-and- 
ink  sketches  upon  the  integuments  of  the  living 
and  scalpel  demonstrations  upon  the  organs  of  the 
dead  always  seemed  to  me  the  ne  plus  ultra  of 
scientific  infatuation,  to  say  nothing  of  its  cold- 
blooded cruelty.  It  was  surely  a  peculiar  way  of 
combatting  disease  and  of  teaching  the  healing  art, 
and  despite  his  zeal  and  learning,  I  looked  upon 
Piorry  as  a  hybrid^  to  which  the  charlatan  and  the 
doctor  had  furnished  an  equal  proportion  of  com- 
ponent elements.  This  idea  perhaps  does  injustice 
to  his  character  and  acquirements,  BS  he  was  greatly 
esteemed  by  his  contemporaries,  and  as  his  funeral, 


which  took  place  only  a  year  or  two  since,  was  at- 
tended by  the  leading  medical  men  of  Paris,  all  of 
whom  testified  to  his  worth  as  a  man  and  to  his 
merits  as  a  physician. 

I  accidentally  made  the  acquaintance  of  one  of 
his  intey^nes,  a  young  man  whose  serious  mien  and 
accurate  knowled2;e  of  the  English  language  at- 
tracted me  from  our  first  meetino^.  Finding;  him 
unusually  well  informed  and  willing  to  teach,  I 
engaged  him  to  give  me  private  instructions  in 
physical  diagnoses,  and  induced  several  compatriots 
to  join  the  class.  This  relation  ripened  into  a  warm 
friendship,  and  the  more  intimately  I  became  ac- 
quainted with  him  the  greater  grew  my  respect  for 
his  character  and  my  admiration  of  his  genius. 
After  a  pleasant  intercourse  we  parted  in  1855 — I 
to  return  to  the  swamps  of  North  Carolina,  and  he 
to  remain  in  Paris — the  best  of  friends  and  with 
reciprocal  good  wishes,  but  without  a  thought  that 
our  paths  would  meet  again.  Twenty-five  years 
afterward  I  was  standing  on  the  Boulevard  des 
Capucines,  when  a  friend  said  to  me  :  ''Look,  there 
goes  the  great  doctor  of  Paris  in  that  carriage  with 
the  two  fine  horses.'^  I  looked  in  the  direction  in- 
dicated_,  and,  to  my  astonishment  and  delight, 
recognized  my  former  preceptor  and  old  friend,  Dr. 
Charcot.  I  had  often  heard  of  Charcot  in  the 
years  which  intervened  between  '55  and  '75,  and  I 
had  read  with  delight  the  works  which  had  ema- 
nated from  his  prolific  pen,  but  it  had  never  entered 
my  head  that  the  humble  interne  of  La  Charite  was 
the  great  professor  whose  fame  had  compassed  the 

I  immediately  addressed  a  note  to  him,  and  with- 
out alluding  to  our  past  relations  asked  if  he  re- 
membered me.  He  replied  at  once  that  he  remem- 
bered me  well,  and  would  be  glad  to  have  me  call 

172  A  doctor's  experiences 

upon  him  at  the  earliest  convenient  moment.  I 
went  to  his  house  on  the  succeed ino;  clay^  and  was 
received  as  a  friend  and  brother — with  a  warmth 
and  kindliness  which  I  can  never  forget.  After 
giving  a  rapid  sketch  of  his  career,  which  had  only 
been  a  succession  of  triumphs  where  competition  was 
most  active  and  jealousy  not  the  less  vindictive,  and 
hearing  what  I  had  to  say  about  myself,  he  said  to 
me  : 

"  Is  there  anything  I  can  do  for  you  ;  any  way 
in  which  I  can  conduce  to  your  welfare  or  advance 
your  interests  ?" 

'^  Yes,  doctor  ;  you  have  it  in  your  power  to  do 
me  a  great  service — one  for  which  I  shall  be  eter- 
nally grateful." 

''  Name  it,  and  count  me  at  your  service." 

"Well,  it  is  simply  this:  I  cannot  return  to 
Egypt  because  Dr.  Landolt  tells  me  that  another 
attack  of  ophthalmia  will  result  in  the  loss  of  my 
left  eye.  I  desire,  therefore,  to  remain  in  Paris, 
and  to  practice  medicine,  which  I  cannot  do  with- 
out a  legal  authorization.  Will  you  use  your  in- 
fluence to  obtain  this  concession  for  me?" 

"  What  you  ask  is  difficult  to  obtain.  The 
faculty  has  taken  position  against  these  ^  minis- 
terial authorizations,'  and  I  am  one  of  those  who 
have  most  persistently  opposed  them.  How  then 
can  I  recommend  you  in  the  very  teeth  of  my  known 
opposition  to  such  recommendations  ?  I  wish  sin- 
cerely to  serve  you,  but  I  really  do  not  see  my  way 
clear  in  the  matter." 

"I  will  leave  it  to  you,  but  I  most  earnestly  en- 
treat you  to  do  it  if  you  can.  Excuse  my  impor- 
tunity. I  lia\^e  so  much  at  stake  that  I  am  forced 
to  be  persistent." 

"  My  dear  friend,  I  will  do  my  best,  and  if  I  fail 
attribute  the  failure  to  anything  else  than  a  sincere 



desire  to  serve  you.  .  Have  3^011  forwarded  your  ap- 

''Yes;  on  yesterday." 

'^I  will  go  then  at  once  and  look  into  the  mat- 
ter.    You  will  hear  from  me  after  a  few  days." 

' '  Thanks  !  I  will  trust  implicitly  to  your  friend- 
ship, and  I  shall  be  equally  grateful  whether  you 
succeed  or  not.  l^ow,  adieu,  for  I  have  already 
trespassed  too  long." 

I  will  only  add  that  after  the  lapse  of  a  few 
weeks  I  did  receive  the  authorization,  and  I  have 
reason  to  know  that  it  was  obtained  naainly  through 
the  influence  of  Charcot.  I  have  also  to  thank  Dr. 
Ricord  for  a  kind  letter  of  recommendation  in  this 
regard,  v/hich,  doubtless,  had  its    weight  as   well. 

Thus  was  it  demonstrated  that  neither  the  gilt 
of  exalted  genius  nor  the  possession  of  the  highest 
distinctions  nor  the  command  of  unlimited  wealth 
nor  aught  else  that  is  calculated  to  intoxicate  or 
pervert  human  nature  could  warp  the  soul  of  this 
great  and  good  man  wdien  friendship  made  its  ap- 
peal, and  that  a  spirit  of  genuine  loyalty  still  ex- 
ists among  men.  I  can  never  live  long  enough  to 
show  the  full  extent  of  my.  appreciation  of  his  act 
of  kindness,  not  alone  on  account  of  the  friendly 
sentiments  which  it  manifested,  but  because  the 
favor  came  at  the  most  critical  moment  in  my  life's 

With  Charcot's  professional  labors  and  triumphs 
the  world  is  familiar,  and  I  relate  this  incident  to 
show  that  not  less  as  a  gentleman  than  as  a  scien- 
tist he  stands  pre-eminent — primus  inter  pares. 

I  was  greatly  pleased  with  Nelaton,  the  surgeon 
of  the  Ecole  Fractique,  who  was  then  in  the  prime 
of  manhood  and  the  flood  tide  of  professional  suc- 
cess. Though  not  specially  attracting  by  his  en- 
thusiasm and  brilliancy,  he  had  a  certain  composed 
and  self-confident  manner  about  him  which  greatlv 

174  A  doctor's  experiences 

impressed  his  auditors  and  drew  large  crowds  to 
his  lectures  and  clinics.  He  possessed  a  stately  and 
commanding  person  ;  a  large  and  well-developed 
head;  an  oval  face, with  finely-cut  features^andkindly 
eyes  of  hluish  gray  ;  a  graceful  carriage  and  a 
pleasing  address;  a  remarkably  fluent  delivery, 
a  hand  of  unfaltering  steadiness  and  an  exquisite 
delicacy  of  touch. 

Alike  from  his  plain,  practical,  and  perspicuous 
lectures,  and  from  his  well-planned  and  admirably- 
executed  operations,  I  derived  much  benefit,  and  I 
have  always  remembered  my  former  master  with 
feelings  of  commingled  pleasure  and  gratitude.  If 
he  had  done  nothing  more  than  invent  the  catheter 
which  bears  his  name,  and  discovered  the  process 
for  inverting  the  body  in  chloroform  narcosis,  he 
would  have  well  merited  the  applause  of  contem- 
poraries and  the  homage  of  posterity. 

Trousseau  was  then  at  the  zenith  of  his  fame 
and  popularity.  He  was  certainly  the  ablest  diag- 
nostician I  ever  knew^  and  his  power  of  analysis 
was  not  surpassed  in  his  generation.  With  this 
gift  of  eloquence  he  could  render  any  subject  at- 
tractive, and  I  followed  him  with  ever-increasing 
admiration  and  enthusiasm. 

I  was  particularly  struck  with  his  politeness  and 
tenderness  toward  his  patients.  He  never  forgot 
that  they  were  human  beings^  and  that  his  obliga- 
tion wsis  first  to  them  ;  that  his  special  mission  was 
the  relief  of  their  sufferings  and  the  cure  of  their 
diseases.  France  has  produced  few  such  physi- 
cians and  teachers,  and  modern  medicine  must  ac- 
knowledge its  indebtedness  to  him  for  its  most 
complete  and  philosophic  work  on  therapeutics. 
He  died  shortly  after  I  left  Paris,  and  at  a  com- 
paratively early  age,  to  the  infinite  regret,  not 
alone  of  those  wdio  w^ere  connected  with  him  by 
personal  relations,  but  of  the  disciples  of  science 


throughout  the  world.     He  was  truly  a  great  phy- 
sician and  a  thorough  gentleman. 

Jobert  de  Larabelle  was  also  flourishing  at  the 
Hotel  DieUy  and  if  there  ever  was  a  madman  in  the 
ranks  cf  the  profession,  it  was  he.  He  was  a  sur- 
geon of  skill  and  dash,  and  his  special  infatuation 
was  the  cauterization  of  wombs.  He  believed  that 
all  the  ills  which  feminine  flesh  is  heir  to  origi- 
nated either  in  an  ulcerated  or  a  cancerous  condi- 
tion of  the  uterus,  and  he  kept  a  supply  of  iron 
cauteries  with  which,  through  an  ivory  or  horn 
speculum,  he  seared  the  cervix  of  every  woman 
who  entered  his  wards.  Twice  each  week  he  held 
his  grand  clinics  in  the  amphitheater,  at  which  he 
did  this  operation  on  so  large  a  scale  that  the  at- 
mosphere of  the  room  was  rendered  insufl'erable  by 
the  fumes  and  smoke  of  cauterized  uterine  tissues, 
while  on  every  morning  he  subjected  some  "  poor 
unfortunate"  to  the  same  fiery  ordeal  We  called 
his  clinics  the  "  barbecues"  and  his  daily  cauteriza- 
tions the  ^  ^  sbislW  irj ,"  while  the  surgeon  himself 
was  designated  by  the  suggestive  names  of  '' Le 
Chef;'  •'  Old  Griddle,"  and  ''  Dr.  Beelzebub  ;"  for 
students  the  world  over  will  have  their  fun,  and 
their  caustic  wit  is  no  respecter  of  persons  or  of 
circumstances.  This  was  my  first  experience  with 
gynoecologists,  and  it  sowed  the  seeds  of  a  prejudice 
against  their  specialty  which  time  has  only  served 
to  deepen  and  to  intensify.  One  of  the  most  dis- 
tinguished physicians  of  New  York — a  leading 
professor,  and  a  late  president  of  the  American 
Medical  Association — recently  remarked  to  me  that 
he  believed  "the  race  would  be  better  off  had 
gynoecology  never  been  invented,"  meaning  that 
the  injury  which  bunglers,  enthusiasts,  and  char- 
latans have  done  in  this  connection  greatly  out- 
weighs the  good  which  others  have  accomplished, 
and  I  am  disposed  to  agree  with  him. 

176  A  doctor's  experiences 

Do  not  understand  me  as  saying  that  there  are 
not  cases  of  uterine  disease  which  require  appro- 
priate local  treatment,  or  that  all  who  devote  them- 
selves to  this  branch  of  medicine  are  corrupt  or  in- 
competent. I  believe  that  the  comfort  of  many  a 
woman  has  been  promoted  by  the  means  thus  in- 
voked, and  that  there  are  men  in  the  ranks  of  this 
specialty  who  honor  their  profession  by  their  skill 
and  their  integrity.  I  would  only  enter  ni}^  pro- 
test against  that  incessant  and  insatiable  search 
for  uterine  maladies — that  persistent  and  uncom- 
promising crusade  against  the  uterus — which  gives 
nature  scarcely  time  for  the  performance  of  its 
functions,  and  makes  women  nurses  of  wombs  in- 
stead of  mothers  of  children.  I  simply  take  the 
position  that  if  this  abuse  of  gynoecology  is  in- 
separably associated  with  the  practice  of  it,  com- 
mon sense  commingles  its  voice  with  that  of  com- 
mon humanit}"  in  regretting  its  discovery  and  de- 
manding its  limitation. 

It  is  impossible  to  deny  the  fact  ''that  this 
specialty  opens  the  door  wider  to  fraud  and  char- 
latanism than  any  other.  Only  one  eye  looks 
through  the  speculum  to  decide  the  question  of 
treatment,  and  to  determine  its  results.  The 
gynoecologist  is  in  the  very  nature  of  things  above 
criticism,  beyond  censure,  and  the  absolate  master 
of  the  situation — directed  by  nothing  save  his  in- 
dividual judgment,  and  restrained  only  by  his  in- 
herent sense  of  right.  The  temptation,  therefore, 
to  do  that  out  of  which  reputation  can  be  made 
and  money  coined  is  great — greater  than  in  any 
other  "field  connected  with  the  profession — and  it 
requires  a  level  head  and  a  loyal  heart,  indeed,  to 
keep  the  gynoecologist  always  in  the  path  of  recti- 
tude. Besides,  say  what  you  may,  it  does  break 
down  the  barriers  which  nature  has  erected  between 
the  two  sexes,  and  is  ipso  facto  demoralizing  both 


to  the  doctor  and  to  the  patient  ;  and  if  there  be 
any  place  for  the  female  physician,  it  surely  is 
within  the  domain  of  this  especial  branch  of  the 
healing  art.  These  may  be  heterodox  views,  but 
they  are  nevertheless  honest  ones. 

But  to  return  to  Jobert.  He  was  a  curiosity  in 
every  respect ;  he  believed  that  he  was  the  greatest 
of  living  surgeons,  and  he  did  not  hesitate  to  say 
so  on  all  occasions. 

He  never  appeared  before  his  class  without  hav- 
ing his  hair  elaborately  dressed,  curled  and  per- 
fumed ;  while  he  arrayed  his  person  in  gorgeous 
apparel,  covered  his  fingers  with  the  choicest  rings, 
and  wore  in  his  scarf  a  diamond  of  great  value  ; 
and,  yet,  with  all  these  peculiarities,  he  lectured 
well  and  operated  magnificently.  Of  the  number 
of  cervical  canals  which  were  occluded  by  his  in- 
strumentality I  am  unable  to  form  a  proper  esti- 
mate, but  I  am  convinced  that  there  were  enough 
of  them  to  seriously  interfere  with  the  po23ulation 
of  Paris.  Those  hot  irons  of  his  cost  France  many 
a  good  soldier. 

An  old  friend,  Mr.  J.  Little  Smith,  of  Mobile, 
Ala. — a  scholar  and  a  gentleman — with  his  young 
and  charming  wife,  then  resided  in  Paris,  and  their 
house  was  the  home  of  a  never-failing  hospitality. 
Many  a  pleasant  hour  did  I  spend  with  them  in 
the  Rue  Florentin,  listening  to  the  madam's  superb 
voice,  or  ''tripping  the  light  fantastic"  with  fair 
country  women  or  enjoying  their  sumptuous 
"  spreads  "  or  talking  about  old  times  and  mutual 
friends  in  Carolina.  They  were  to  have  a  ball  on 
a  certain  occasion,  and  I  had  promised  to  attend. 
Indeed,  I  was  looking  forward  to  the  entertain- 
ment with  great  pleasure,  the  more  so  as  I  had  en- 
gaged to  dance  the  first  quadrille  with  a  beautiful 
girl  from  the  South.  The  evening  arrived,  and  I 

178  A  doctor's  experiences 

hailed  it  with  delight.  Having  visited  the  harber^, 
and  had  him  exhaust  his  skill  upon  me,  I  returned 
home  and  commenced  my  toilet,  filled  with  pleas- 
urable anticipations  and  resolved  upon  looking  my 
best.  When  about  half  dressed  I  pulled  out  the 
drawers  in  which  my  "  Sunday  clothes  "  had  been 
carefully  put  away — found  it  empty.  Further  in-- 
vestigations  showed  that  my  entire  wardrobe  had 
been  appropriated  by  some  adroit  thief,  who  had 
entered  the  room  during  my  absence  and  had 
"  swept  the  platter  clean."  You  can  imagine  my 
disgust  and  indignation,  for,  independent  of  the 
disappointment  of  the  evening,  the  pecuniary  loss 
was  considerable,  and  my  expected  remittance  had 
not  been  calculated  upon  the  basis  of  such  an  ex- 
penditure as  this  robbery  entailed.  Nothing  re- 
mained but  to  dispatch  a  hurried  note  explaining 
my  absence  to  my  friends,  and  to  send  for  the  police- 
and  ask  their  aid  in  the  apprehension  of  the  thief. 

Mr.  Smith,  with  characteristic  kindness,  called 
early  the  next  day  to  offer  his  sympathy  and  assist- 
ance, but  the  authorities  did  nothing  save  shrug- 
their  shoulders  and  take  an  inventory  of  the  lost 
property — which  surprised  me  greatly,  as  I  had 
always  heard  that  the  police  of  Paris  w^as  the  best 
in  the  w^orld.  I  never  recovered  anything,  though 
I  felt  sure  of  my  ability  to  place  my  hand  upon 
the  thief  at  any  time,  as  he  was  a  member  of  the 

This  was  the  beginning  of  my  know^led-e  of  the 
indifference — to  use  no  stronger  term — with  which 
the  French  people  regard  all  foreigners,  and  es- 
pecially those  w^ho  speak  the  English  language. 

In  connection  with  great  crimes  and  political 
offenses  the  authorities  frequently  display  much 
energy  and  sagacity,  but  they  trouble  themselves 
very  little  when  aliens  demand  their  assistance  or 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

Shortly  after  the  incident  related  in  my  last  let- 
ter, an  American,  with  whom  I  had  been  acquainted 
for  several  years,  invited  me  to  accompany  him  to 
Italy,  proposing  to  defray  the  necessary  expenses 
of  the  trip.  As  his  health  was  poor  and  he  really 
required  professional  attention,  I  accepted  his  offer, 
though  I  soon  had  occasion  to  regret  having  done 
so,  as  he  was  both  ill-natured  and  parsimonious,  and 
we  soon  parted  company  by  mutual  consent.  8ome 
months  afterward,  when  he  was  arranging  his  af- 
fairs preliminary  to  a  final  departure,  he  addressed 
me  a  letter,  claiming  that  I  owed  him  more  tlian 
a  hundred  dollars,  the  amount  which  he  had  ex- 
pended for  my  traveling  expenses.  This  meanness 
was,  nevertheless,  surpassed  by  that  of  two  Ameri- 
can women,  mother  and  daughter,  with  whom  I 
was  thrown  during  my  residence  in  Paris.  As  the 
health  of  the  younger  was  poor  I  was  constantly 
appealed  to  for  j)rofessional  advice,  and  as  I  refused 
compensation  they  invited  me  several  times  to  dine 
with  them.  You  can  judge  of  my  astonishment 
when  I  received  a  bill  from,  their  boarding-house 
keej)er  for  the  dinners  which  I  had  taken  as  their 
guest.  On  inquiry  I  found  that  he  had  charged 
these  extra  meals  to  them,  but,  at  their  suggestion, 
had  withdrawn  the  items  from  their  bill,  and  had 
held  me  responsible.     Of  course,  I  paid  the  sum 

180  A  doctor's  experiences 

demanded,  but  it  is  the  conviction  of  a  lifetime 
that  for  consummate  meanness  and  unhlushino: 
impudence  this  travesty  upon  the  laws  of  hospital- 
ity excelled  anything  that  I  have  ever  known  or 
lieard  of. 

I  will  not  go  into  the  details  of  this  trip  to  Italy, 
although  there  was  born  of  it  a  love  scrape — which 
was  characterized  by  many  moving  incidents  and  a 
strange  conclusion — as  the  ground  traveled  over  is 
familiar  to  nearly  every  one,  and  as  I  should  have 
to  "stir  up  the  ashes  of  the  past"  in  a  way  which 
would  be  agreeable  neither  to  myself  nor  to  my 
sweet-heart,  although  she  is  a  grandmother. 

1  returned  home  on  the  steamer  "  North  Star," 
the  once  famous  Vanderbilt  yacht,  sailing  from 
Havre  early  in  May,  and  making  the  passage  in 
about  ten  days. 

The  voyage  was  tempestuous,  but  without  inci- 
dent, and  my  fellow  passengers  generally  im- 
pressed me  so  little  that  I  have  forgotten  the  names 
of  all  save  two  of  them — Dr.  Samuel  Green,  of 
Boston,  and  Miss  Stevens,  of  Hoboken. 

Dr.  Green  had  been  studying  medicine  abroad, 
and  having  frequently  met  in  our  tours  of  the  hos- 
pitals we  soon  became  fast  friends  on  ship-board. 
Related  to  the  Lawrences,  a  thorough  gentleman, 
and  an  accomplished  physician,  he  immediately 
took  a  commanding  position  in  his  native  State, 
and  has  maintained  it  up  to  the  present  moment. 
A  few  years  since  he  was  elected  mayor  of  Boston, 
almost  by  acclamation,  and  he  still  holds  an  im- 
portant trust  connected  with  its  public  charities. 
He  has  always  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  being  an 
unusually  upright  and  loyal  man.  During  the  war 
he  held  a  surgeon's  commission  in  the  United  States 
Army,  and  was  stationed  in  the  eastern  section  of 
North  Carolina,  where,  though  we  never  met,  we 


were  frequently  in  close  propinquity,  and  were 
constantly  able  to  exchange  messages  of  good  will 
and  kind  remembrance. 

I  take  this  occasion  to  say  that  the  rancor  en- 
gendered by  the  contest  did  not  find  its  way  into 
the  hearts  of  the  medical  men  engaged  in  it.  They 
never  permitted  themselves  to  discriminate  between 
the  ^'gray"  and  the  ''blue"  when  blood  was  flow- 
ing and  human  life  was  at  stake,  but  to  all  alike — 
to  friend  and  foe  equally — they  ministered  to  the 
extent  of  their  ability,  and  with  the  same  measure 
of  sympathy  and  kindness.  They  never  forgot 
that  they  were  brethren,  bound  together  by  the 
ties  and  obligations  of  a  noble  profession  ;  and 
whenever  they  were  brought  in  contact,  whether 
under  the  friendly  folds  of  a  flag  of  truce  or  in  the 
bloody  carnage  of  a  battle-field,  or  'mid  the  sicken- 
ing horrors  of  the  prison  house,  it  was  with  bosoms 
as  full  of  kindly  feelings  and  hands  as  ready  to  ren- 
der a  service  as  if  no  war-cloud  enshrouded  the 

It  is  a  notable  circumstance,  also,  that  within 
three  months  after  the  flag  of  the  Confederacy  was 
folded  at  Appomattox,  the  i^merican  Medical  As- 
sociation met  in  the  city  of  Baltimore,  with  dele- 
gates from  every  State  in  the  Union,  and  held  as 
harmonious  and  fraternal  a  session  as  had  ever  been 
known  in  its  history.  Thus  it  is  that  the  physi- 
cians of  the  country  have  been  enabled,  by  their 
inherent  conservatism  and  their  unfaltering  devo- 
tion to  the  principles  of  their  profession,  to  do  their 
duty  upon  either  side,  uninfluenced  by  passion  or  by 
prejudice,  and  to  become  the  pioneers  in  the  work 
of  a  veritable  reconstruction  of  the  Union — the  re- 
vivication  of  sentiments  of  reciprocal  love  and  con- 
fidence between  the  alienated  sections. 

Miss  Stevens  was  accompanied  by  her  father,  who 

182  A  doctor's  experiences 

was  then  an  old  man,  and  she  had  on  board  a  pet 
grey-hound  which  proved  to  be  a  very  poor  saikjr, 
and  the  source  of  great  solicitude  to  its  fair  mistress. 
Some  years  afterward  I  met  her  at  the  Springs  in 
Virginia,  whither  she  had  gone  with  her  husband, 
Mr.  Garnett,  to  passher  ^' honej^-moon."  Twenty 
years  later  I  was  sent  for  in  Cairo  to  attend  a  ''  lady 
at  the  Grand  New  Hotel,"  and,  to  my  surprise,  found 
my  quondam  friend  of  the  North  Star  and  the  White 
Sulphur.  Her  first  husband  having  died  soon  after 
their  marriage  she  had  given  her  hand  and  her 
fortune  to  a  dilapidated  rebel,  Mr.  H.  P.  C.  Lewis, 
of  Virginia,  a  relative  of  General  Lee,  and  one  of 
the  most  genial  gentlemen  whom  I  have  ever 
met.  How  small  a  place  the  world  is  after  all ! 
How  strange  are  the  rencontres  of  life  !  It  seems  to 
me  that  if  one  could  live  long  enough,  he  would 
meet  again  with  every  one  that  he  had  seen  before, 
especially  if  he  lived  in  Paris. 

There  was  great  anxiety  among  the  passengers 
to  see  the  American  papers,  and  to  learn  the  result 
of  the  election,  for  Mr.  Wise  had  just  made  his 
celebrated  canvass  against  the  Know-Nothing  party, 
and  it  was  impossible  not  to  feel  an  interest  in  its 

His  election  to  the  office  of  Governor  of  his  native 
State  proved  the  death-blow  of  the  so-called  Ameri- 
can party,  and  produced  a  profound  sensation 
throughout  the  country.  That  party  originated  in 
the  natural  apprehension  of  the  foreign  element  as  a 
controlling  power  in  our  elections,  and  the  possible 
destruction  of  republican  institutions  through  its 
instrumentality  ;  and  for  some  time  it  swept  every- 
thing before  it,  and  threatened  the  annihilation  of 
all  other  political  organizations.  But  though  it 
had  in  view  a  legitimate  object — the  retention  of 
political  power  in  thehands  of  native-born  citizens — • 


its  antagonism  to  religious  freedom  and  its  appeal 
to  secret  combinations  as  a  means  of  success  event- 
ually wrought  its  destruction.  Wise  was  a  man  of 
vehement  passions,  of  great  energy  of  character,  of 
chivalrous  courage,  and  of  wonderful  eloquence, 
and  inspired  by  the  desperate  condition  of  his 
own  party,  the  assault  upon  that  liberty  of  con- 
science which  the  Constitution  guaranteed,  and  the 
resort  to  oath-bound  societies  as  a  means  of  domi- 
nation, he  inaugurated  a  crusade  against  Know- 
iiothingism  which,  for  the  virulence  displayed  on 
the  one  side  and  the  rancor  engendered  on  the 
other,  has  never  had  its  equal  in  political  warfare. 
His  success  made  him  the  hero  of  the  hour,  and 
he  has  ever  since  been  canonized  by  the  Democratic 
party  as  a  saint  and  savior.  Strange  to  relate, 
though  devoted  to  the  South,  and  ready,  as  the 
sequel  proved,  to  shed  his  blood  and  to  sacrifice 
his  children  in  its  behalf,  he  was  not  an  '^  original 
secessionist."  He  advocated.war  on  the  part  of  his 
section,  but  his  idea  was  that,  instead  of  attempt- 
ing to  establish  an  independent  government,  it 
should  march  to  Washington,  raise  ^'  the  stars  and 
stripes"  upon  the  National  Capitol,  and  say  to  the 
people  of  the  country  :  ''  We  will  submit  to  insult 
and  aggression  no  longer,  but  we  are  resolved  to 
maintain  our  rights  in  the  Union  and  under  the  a^gis 
of  the  Constitution.  We  desire  nothing  that  is  not 
just  and  right  and  legal ;  and  we  call  upon  every 
patriot  and  honest-minded  man,  whatever  his  place 
of  birth  or  his  party  affiliation,  to  come  to  our  aid 
and  to  help  us  restore  and  perpetuate  the  govern- 
ment of  our  fathers,"  or  language  to  the  same  effect. 
To  my  mind,  there  was  embodied  in  this  proposition 
more  of  true  statesmanship,  of  real  sagacity  and  of 
knowledge  of  the  American  people  than  was  dis- 
played by  all  of  our  public  men  combined,  for  had 

184  A  doctor's  experiences 

it  been  carried  out,  the  great  rallying  cry  of  '^  pro- 
tection to  the  old  flag,"  by  which  the  heart  of  the 
great  North  was  fired  and  its  people  united  in. 
solid  phalanx  against  us,  would  never  have  been 
heard  ;  and  although  there  might  have  been  a  war. 
and  a  bloody  one,  it  would  soon  have  terminated, 
without  leaving  the  entire  South  in  tears  and  ashes. 

As  I  passed  through  Norfolk  and  Portsmouth  en 
route  to  Carolina  I  was  struck  by  their  appearance  of 
prosperity  and  by  the  beauty  of  their  situation  and 
surroundings,  little  dreaming  how  soon  they  were 
to  become  the  scene  of  a  great  disaster  and  a  general 

Shortly  afterward  they  were  visited  by  a  fearful 
epidemic  of  yellow  fever.  Both  places  soon  be- 
came scenes  of  death  and  desolation — more  than  two 
thousand  persons  succumbed  to  the  malady  ;  their 
people,  utterly  panic-stricken,  fled  in  every  possi- 
ble direction  ;  all  business  was  suspended,  and  only 
a  voice  of  wailing  was  heard  in  the  deserted  streets  ; 
and  yet  not  a  physician  proved  recreant  or  showed 
a  craven  spirit,  but,  on  the  contrary,  each  deter- 
mined deliberatelj^  to  die  rather  than  to  leave  his 
post,  to  do  his  duty  without  hesitancy  and  mur- 
muring, and  to  let  the  result  take  care  of  itself.  It 
was  in  response  to  the  suggestions  of  such  a  spirit 
as  this  that  a  ''committee  of  relief "  was  organ- 
ized, having  for  its  objects  the  nursing  of  the  sick, 
the  burial  of  the  dead,  the  care  of  the  homeless 
orphans^  the  collection  of  funds  and  provisions  for 
the  destitute,  and  the  supply  of  additional  physi- 
cians to  take  the  place  of  those  who  fell  victims  ta 
the  disease. 

Upon  the  list  of  those  who  responded  to  this  ap- 
peal for  assistance  I  am  proud  to  find  your  hon- 
ored name  ;  and,  in  my  judgment,  in  exposing 
yourself  to  the  terrors  of  this  virulent  pestilence^ 

JOHN     MORIilS,     M.      I), 

IN    THREE    CONTINENTS.  -     185 

in  raising  aloft  the  banner  of  the  profession  and 
carrying  it  into  the  very  jaws  of  death,  you  deserve 
a  meed  of  praise  compared  with  which  the  Victoria 
Cross  and  ribbon  of  the  Legion  of  Honor  should 
count  as  empty  baubles.  When  a  soldier  takes  his 
life  in  his  hands  and  charges  with  the  forlorn  hope 
into  the  deadly  breach,  enthused  by  the  gaudia 
certaminis  and  all  the  inspiring  entourage  of  the 
battle-field,  he  is  crowned  with  laurels,  surfeited 
with  praise,  and  chronicled  as  a  hero  and  a  mar- 
tyr. But  how  much  more  deserving  of  honor  and 
remembrance  is  the  physician  who,  having  nothing 
to  inspire  or  to  sustain  him  but  a  sense  of  duty 
and  the  approval  of  his  conscience — without  the 
expectation  of  reward,  and  with  the  prospect  of  an 
inevitable  death — deliberately  surrenders  his  prac- 
tice, bids  adieu  to  his  friends^,  and  takes  his  place 
in  the  already  decimated  ranks  of  those  who  are 
fighting  some  death-dealing  epidemic?  And  yet 
the  world  worships  the  soldier  and  forgets  the  doc- 
tor, or  rather,  it  regards  the  heroism  of  the  one 
as  sublime,  and  it  takes  that  of  the  other  as  a  mat- 
ter of  course.  How  many  people  in  Baltimore  can 
you  name  who  remember  this  unselfish  and  courage- 
ous sacrifice  of  yourself  to  the  cause  of  science  and 
humanity  ?  I  have  often  heard  you  spoken  of  as 
a  man  of  talent,  integrity,  kindness  of  heart,  and 
geniality  of  disposition,  but  I  scarcely  ever  heard  a 
reference  made  to  that  for  which  you  deserve  a 
monument — your  voluntary  services  to  the  sick  and 
dying  citizens  of  Norfolk  and  Portsmouth.  Such 
is  the  world,  my  friend,  and  if  there  were  not  a 
faithful  record  kept  elsewhere  of  every  noble  im- 
pulse and  heroic  deed,  life  would  be  as  valueless  as 
a  discarded  oyster-shell,  and  as  uninteresting  as  a 
picnic  on  the  banks  of  the  Lena. 

Quite  a  number  of  refugees  came    to   Edenton, 

186  A  doctor's  experiexces 

aiid,  though  they  brought  disease  and  consterna- 
tion with  them,  they  received  a  cordial  welcome  ; 
for  Southern  hospitality  in  those  days  was  some- 
thing to  be  proud  of  and  depended  upon.  In  this 
instance  virtue  had  its  reward,  for  the  disease  con- 
fined itself  to  those  who  had  already  been  exposed 
to  the  epidemic  influence. 

It  was  thus  that  I  became  acquainted  with  yellow 
fever,  and  had  an  opportunity  of  studying  its  clini- 
cal history,  with  the  results  of  arriving  at  the  fol- 
lowing conclusions  respecting  it : 

1.  That  the  disease  is  of  foreign  origin  and  was 

2.  That  it  spread  from  the  point  at  which  it  was 
landed  until  a  definite  area  was  invaded,  including 
the  sites  of  Norfolk  and  Portsmouth. 

3.  That  it  developed  and  disseminated  itself  be- 
cause it  found  at  the  point  of  debarkation,  and  within 
the  limits  mentioned,  certain  conditions — atmos- 
pheric or  systemic — favorable  to  the  fructification 
of  the  germs  which  give  it  vitality — the  germs 
themselves  being  of  animal  origin. 

4.  That,  in  addition  to  these  conditions,  it  found 
itself  surrounded  and  modified  by  the  presence  of 
other  germs  of  vegetable  origin — those  to  which  we 
give  the  name  of  malaria. 

5.  That  the  disease  when  developed  presented  a 
composite  character,  being  made  up  of  two  classes 
of  phenomena — those  due  to  the  action  of  germs  of 
animal  origin,  and  those  due  to  the  influence  of 
vegetable  genesis. 

6.  That  the  specific,  or  animal  germs,  are  inca- 
pable of  reproduction  without  the  co-operation  of 
the  special  conditions  already  mentioned. 

7.  That  the  vegetable  germs,  or,  in  other  words, 
malaria,  has  no  agency  per  se  in  the  development 
of  the  disease,  but  supplies  the  conditions  for  its 


production,  and  modifies  it  after  it  has  been  pro- 

8.  That  while  the  rational  treatment  of  the  dis- 
ease consists  in  sustaining  the  strength  of  the  pa- 
tient, and  stimulating  the  secerning  organs  to  a 
more  active  performance  of  their  functions,  it  is 
also  a  matter  of  vital  importance  to  neutralize  or 
to  destroy  the  malarial  elements  and  to  counteract 
their  efi'ects  upon  the  economy. 

A  number  of  physicians  fell  victims  to  the 
epidemic,  and  among  them  were  some  of  my  col- 
lege mates,  notably  Richard  Sylvester  and  Junius 
Briggs — two  as  splendid  fellows  as  ever  wrote  M. 
D.  to  their  names. 

They  had  just  graduated,  and  had  the  most  bril- 
liant prospects  before  them,  but  when  the  visita- 
tion came  they  remained  faithfully  at  their  posts 
like  good  men  and  true  physicians,  and  they  died 
there  among  the  first  victims  of  the  epidemic. 

Little  did  I  think  when  I  parted  with  them  at 
the  University,  with  health  glowing  in  their  ruddy 
cheeks  and  hope  mirrored  in  their  beaming  eyes, 
that  cheerless  graves  awaited  them  at  home,  and 
their  names  were  so  soon  to  be  written  upon  the 
records  which  medicine  reserves  for  its  heroes  and 
its  martyrs.  And  yet  their  last  hours  weie  cheered 
by  the  reflection  that  they  had  made  a  good  fight 
in  the  cause  of  science  and  humanity,  and  that 
though  their  careers  were  comparatively  short  not 
a  shadow  of  a  stain  had  marred  them. 

As  I  look  back  and  recall  all  that  has  passed 
since  then,  especiall}^  the  incidents  connected  with 
those  dark  days  when  the  hopes  of  their  people 
were  crushed,  and  the  land  that  they  loved  so  well 
was  rifled  and  ruined,  it  is  a  question  with  me  as 
to  who  were  the  more  fortunate,  those  who  were 
early  called,  or  those  who  were  left  behind  to  drain 

188      ^  A  doctor's  experiexces 

the  cup  of  sorrow  and  humiliation  to  the  dregs?  If 
they  did  not  live  to  taste  the  pleasures  and  to  reap 
the  honors  of  life,  they  were  at  least  saved  its  vexa- 
tions and  its  vicissitudes,  while,  if  faith  has  its 
fruition  and  virtue  its  reward  in  the  hetter  land 
beyond  the  tomb,  they  have  not  lost  by  the  fate 
which  overtook  them  in  the  pride  and  promise  of 
their  early  manhood. 

I  found  that  my  father's  principal  rival  was  a 
certain  Dr.  P.,  who  had  been  attracted  to  Edenton 
by  Dr.  Wright's  departure  for  Norfolk  and  my  ab- 
sence in  Europe.  He  was  a  physician  of  little  abil- 
ity, but  a  man  of  great  cunning.  He  knew,  in 
fact,  all  the  tricks  and  dodges  by  which  to  secure 
notoriety  and  to  counterfeit  success,  and  he  most 
industriously  resorted  to  them.  He  rented  the 
most  conspicuous  pew  in  church,  arrived  always 
at  a  late  hour,  and  had  himself  called  out  before 
the  conclusion  of  the  sermon.  He  purchased — on 
credit — a  splendid  "  turnout,"  and  had  it  conspic- 
uously brought  to  his  door  several  times  daily^ 
driving  off  as  if  summoned  in  hot  haste  to  scores 
of  impatient  or  dying  patients.  He  pretended  to 
a  familiar  correspondence  with  the  leading  medi- 
cal men  of  the  country,  and  habitually  entertained 
the  audience  of  the  streets  corners  with  fictitious 
letters,  filled  with  fulsome  compliments  to  him- 
self. He  magnified  the  simplest  cases  into  the 
gravest  maladies,  and  claimed  great  credit  for  his 
accurate  diagnoses  and  his  skillful  cures.  He  af- 
fected great  interest  in  "  scientific  farming  " — in 
the  application  of  ''chemical  principles  to  the  cul- 
tivation of  the  soil,"  as  he  expressed  it — and  or- 
ganized an  Agricultural  Society,  before  which  he 
delivered  weekly  lectures,  interlarded  with  such 
technical  terms  as  his  memory  could  retain^  and 
replete  with    accounts    of  capital   surgical  opera- 


tions,  happy  hits  in  the  treatment  of  disease,  won- 
derful discoveries  of  remedies  and  professional  tri- 
umphs generally — all  culled  from  the  field  of  his 
imagination  and  planned  to  secure  an  ahundant 
harvest  of  ''the  needful."  He  dressed  in  a  style 
as  unique  as  it  was  conspicuous,  and  such  broad- 
brimmed  felts,  long-tailed  coats,  expansive  shirt 
collars^  gaudy  neckties,  glistening  patent-leathers^ 
and  ponderous  watch-chains  never  '^'cut  a  swell" 
before  or  since,  even  in  ''  the  land  of  Dixie."  He 
rushed  madly  into  print  on  every  possible  occasion, 
and  our  modest  "  weekly  "  fairly  groaned  under 
the  weight  of  his  voluminous  contributions  on 
medical  topics,  each  copied  verbatim  from  the  text 
books.  And  he  grew  so  desperately  intimate  on 
the  shortest  acquaintance,  calling  everybody  by  an 
abbreviation  of  his  Christian  name,  giving  such 
friendly  slaps  upon  the  shoulder  by  way  of  saluta; 
tion,and  proposing  so  constantly  to  "stand  treat," 
that  a  stranger  would  have  supposed  he  had  been 
raised  in  every  family  in  the  county  and  was  the 
blood  relation  of  the  whole  community. 

Seeing  all  this  and  knowing  something  of  the 
credulity  of  human  nature,  I  began  to  regard  him 
as  possibly  a  dangerous  rival,  and  so  remarked  to 
my  father.  The  old  gentleman,  with  a  more  pro- 
found knowledge  of  mankind  in  general  and  of  the 
people  around  him  in  particular,  only  smiled  when 
I  expressed  my  fears  in  this  regard,  and  said  in 
reply  to  my  expression  of  apprehension :  "  He  is  not 
worthy  of  a  thought.  Give  him  rope  enough  and  he 
will  hang  himself.  It  is  true  that  there  is  nothing 
«o  successful  as  success,  but  it  must  be  a  genuine 
success ;  and  a  shallow-pated  and  vulgar  pretender 
like  P.  is  as  sure  to  go  to  the  wall  as  that  the  sun 
shines.  A  small  community  is  too  inquisitive  to 
be  deceived  by  any   pretense  of  business,  and  the 

190  A  doctor's  experiences 

sheriff  will  sell  him  out  before  the  end  of  the  year^ 
or  I  am  no  judge  of  the  situation."  And  so  it 
turned  out.  He  who  had  gone  up  a  rocket  soon 
came  down  a  stich^  and  there  was  a  public  "  ven- 
due" of  his  goods  and  chattels  in  a  shorter  time 
even  than  my  father  had  predicted.  He  seemed  ta 
take  his  discomfiture  as  if  he  were  accustomed  to 
it,  and  started  off  to  seek  new  fields  of  adventure, 
arrayed  in  his  marvelous  get-u^^,  and  as  jovial  of 
manner  as  if  nothing  had  happened.  Indeed,  I 
could  not  help  admiring  the  perfect  sang  froicl 
which  he  manifested  in  the  hour  of  his  defeat,  and 
I  came  to  regard  him  in  the  light  of  a  philosopher 
as  well  as  a  fraud,  if  two  such  antipodal  characters 
can  associate  themselves  in  the  same  individual. 
To  give  you  a  better  idea  of  this  man  I  will  tell 
you  of  a  trick  by  whicb  he  victimized  a  friend  on 
the  eve  of  his  departure  from  Edenton.  He  had 
been  intimate  with  a  young  woman  who  was  not 
altogether  a  pattern  of  propriety,  and  a  day  or  twa 
before  he  wa-s  to  leave  he  received  a  letter  from  her 
appealing  to  his  paternal  sentiments  for  assistance 
and  protection.  Observing  that  the  envelope 
alone  bore  his  address,  and  suspecting  that  a 
young  man  of  the  town  might  be  as  culpable  as 
himself,  he  very  quietly  put  the  letter  in  another 
envelope,  and  directing  it  in  a  disguised  hand  to 
his  friend,  slipped  off  to  parts  unknown. 

The  bait  took  ;  the  girl  accepted  the  unexpected 
succor  without  explanation  ;  and  twelve  years  after- 
ward, to  my  certain  knowledge,  the  aforesaid  young 
man  was  supporting  P.'s  gage  d' amour,  without  a 
suspicion  of  mistaken  paternity  or  of  the  little 
game  by  w^hich  he  had  been  so  artfully  victimized. 

T  have  already  mentioned  the  name  of  Dr. 
Wright,  and  I  have,  indeed,  a  sad  history  to  re- 
late respecting  him.     He  belonged  to  one  of  our 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  191 

best  families,  and  he  was  pre-eminently  a  good 
man  and  a  thorough  gentleman.  Having  studied 
medicine  with  my  father,  practiced  in  association 
with  him,  and  lived  as  his  friend  and  neighbor  for 
many  years,  the  relations  between  them  and  their 
families  were  of  the  most  intimate  character.  In 
1854  he  removed  to  Norfolk,  Virginia,  v^here  the 
loyalty  of  his  character,  the  amiability  of  his  na- 
ture, his  thorough  knowledge  of  medicine,  and  his 
courage  and  devotion  in  the  fever  epidemic  secured 
him  many  warm  friends  and  liberal  patrons.  He 
had  a  lovely  wife  and  a  large  family  of  sons  and 
daughters,  who  were  singularly  devoted  to  their 
parents  and  to  each  other — constituting  one  of  the 
happiest  home  circles  I  ever  knew.  When  forced  by 
impending  hostilities  to  remove  my  wife  and  child 
from  Baltimore,  I  carried  them  as  far  as  Norfolk  on 
their  homew^ard  journey,  and  stopped,  for  several 
days  at  the  Doctor's  house.  At  that  time,  though 
devoted  to  the  South, he  deprecated  the  war,  expressed 
his  love  for  the  Union,  and  still  hoped  that  the  wis- 
dom and  patriotism  of  the  nation  would  assert 
themselves  before  an  issue  was  irretrievably  made 
between  its  sections.  In  a  word,  he  spoke  as  a  pa- 
triot and  not  as  a  politician,  giving  expression  to 
the  most  liberal  and  fraternal  sentiments,  and 
showing  that  his  position  was  altogether  a  conser- 
vative one.  Little  did  I  dream  that  the  delightful 
circle  which  I  found  beneath  his  hospitable  roof — 
a  circle  bound  together  by  the  cohesive  power  of 
reciprocal  admiration  and  affection — was  so  soon 
to  be  broken  up  by  the  saddest  circumstances  that 
the  human  mind  can  conceive  of — the  execution  of 
its  cherished  head  upon  the  gallow^s,  and  the  death 
of  the  eldest  son  upon  the  field  of  battle. 

Soon  after  the  evacuation  of  Norfolk  by  the  Con- 
federate forces  its  citizens  were  astonished  and  hor- 

192  'a  doctor's  experiexces 

rifiecl  by  the  organization  of  a  militai\y  company  of 
negroes,  commanded  by  an  officer  of  the  United 
States  Army.  The  poor  Doctorj  in  the  excitement 
of  the  moment  as  it  passed  him  for  the  first 
time,  exclaimed,  '^  How  dastardly  !  "  and  the  cap- 
tain having  heard  the  remark^  turned  upon  him 
with  his  drawn  SAvord.  At  this  critical  moment 
some  friend  thrust  a  pistol  in  his  hand,  with  which 
he  killed  his  assailant.  A  trial  by  court-martial 
was  immediately  held  ;  no  extenuating  circum- 
stances were  admitted  ;  and  the  simple  fact  that 
an  officer  of  the  army  had  been  slain  by  a  rebel 
sympathizer  outweighed  all  other  considerations  ; 
and  tliis  good  man  who  had  never  entertained  an 
unkind  thought  toward  a  human  being,  and  who 
had  only  fired  as  a  last  resort  when  his  life  was  in 
jeopardy,  was  condemned  to  die  the  death  of  a 
felon,  and  was  actually  hung  despite  the  entreaties  of 
his  wife  and  children,  the  appeals  of  his  friends  and 
the  protests  of  the  Confederate  authorities.  On 
the  day  preceding  his  execution  his  eldest  daugh- 
ter obtained  permission  to  visit  his  cell^  and  made 
a  desperate  effort  to  rescue  him.  Enveloping  him 
in  her  cloak  and  placing  lier  bonnet  upon  his  head, 
with  its  vail  drooped  over  his  face,  she  sent  him 
out  of  the  prison  by  the  route  which  she  had  en- 
tered it,  while  she  covered  herself  up  in  his  vacant 
bed,  and  awaited  the  result  of  her  brave  experi- 
ment. It  came  near  succeeding.  It  was  the  sen- 
tinel at  the  last  gate  Avho  recognized  the  boots  of  a 
man  as  the  disguised  figure  passed  through  it  and 
who  arrested  the  fugitive  just  as  he  was  on  the  point 
of  joining  the  friends  vv^lio  waited  without  to  convey 
him  to  a  place  of  safety  ;  and  the  distracted  daugh- 
ter had  only  the  mortification  of  seeing  him  brought 
back  in  chains,  and  of  hearing  herself  insulted  as  a 
criminal  for  her  sublime  act   of  self-sacrifice  and 


filial  duty.  On  tlie  succeeding  day  the  gallows 
did  its  cruel  work,  and  he  who  deserved  a  hero's 
recompense  for  a  life  consecrated  to  truth,  honor, 
justice  and  humanity,  was  foully  murdered  in  the 
name  of  the  law,  because,  with  a  sword's  point  at 
his  heart,  he  had  instinctively  obeyed  the  voice  of 
manhood  and  of  nature  and  had  raised  his  hand  in 
defense  of  his  life.  There  are  many  extreme  things 
which  can  be  attributed  to  the  passions  excited  by 
a  sanguinary  war  and  pardoned  accordingly ;.  but  for 
this  act  of  barbarity,  this  violation  of  every  princi- 
ple of  justice,  there  can  be  found  neither  the 
shadow  of  an  excuse  nor  the  semblance  of  a  palli- 
ation. It  looms  up,  in  fact,  from  the  darkest  page 
in  the  history  of  the  struggle  as  the  most  conspicu- 
ous and  the  least  pardonable  of  all  the  atrocities 
committed  on  either  side,  and  constitutes  an  eter- 
nal reproach  to  humanity  and  to  the  civilization  of 
the  century. 

I  have  reason  to  believe  that  his  final  appeal  to 
the  Executive  of  the  nation  failed  to  reach  its  des- 
tination, and  that  upon  the  conscience  of  some  un- 
scrupulous subordinate  rests  the  responsibility  of 
the  consummation  of  this  infamy.  The  man  in 
whose  heart  was  conceived  the  heaven-inspired 
sentiment  embodied  in  the  words:  "with  charity 
for  all  and  malice  toward  none,"  could  no  more 
have  consented  to  the  cruel  murder  of  this  innocent 
man — innocent  because  the  act  for  which  he  suf- 
fered was  done  without  premeditation  and  in  self- 
defense — than  he  could  have  brought  himself  to 
play  the  role  of  executioner  on  that  memorable 
morning  when  from  the  gallows  at  Norfolk  an  un- 
sullied soul  ascended  to  heaven,  and  the  hang- 
man's rope  was  made  an  instrument  for  the  mar- 
tyrdom of  a  gentleman,  a  Christian  and  a  hero. 

194  'a  doctor's  experiences 

His  eldest  son,  who  had  just  attained  his  majority 
and  was  the  inheritor  of  all  the  virtues  which 
adorned  his  father's  character,  went  into  the  fight 
at  Getty shurg,  and  is  still  among  ^'the  missing." 
His  body  was  never  found,  and  nothing  is  known 
respecting  his  fate  save  that  he  was  seen  to  fall  in 
the  fatal  charge  upon  the  heights. 

I  subsequently  saw  the  wife  and  mother,  upon 
whom  these  terrible  calamities  had  fallen,  at  Chapel 
Hill — for  she  had  been  permitted  to  come  into  our 
lines  to  seek  the  kindly  offices  of  the  friends  of  her 
better  days — and  the  sad  picture  which  she  pre- 
sented is  graven  eternally  upon  my  memory.  I 
found  her  sitting  as  upright  as  a  statue,  speechless^ 
tearless  and  immovable,  the  embodiment  of  the 
profoundest  sorrow  and  the  uttermost  despondency. 
She  seemed  completely  dazed,  blighted  and  be- 
numbed— like  one  whose  soul  had  been  translated 
and  whose  body  left  behind  with  just  corporeal 
sense  enough  to  perpetuate  existence  and  to  main- 
tain identity.  I  had  seen  her  when  as  a  happy 
bride  she  walked  down  the  aisle  of  old  St.  Paul's, 
leaning  upon  the  arm  of  her  loving  husband,  fol- 
lowed by  troops  of  admiring  friends,  and  dreaming 
of  a  future  canopied  by  naught  but  sunbeams  ;  I 
had  seen  her  again  the  proud  mother  of  sons  and 
daughters  of  beauty,  the  mistress  of  a  household 
within  which  love  and  happiness  reigned  supreme, 
and  the  object  of  the  respect  and  the  admiration  of 
a  whole  community  ;  and  when  I  beheld  her  as  she 
appeared  at  Chapel  Hill,  the  personification  of  suf- 
fering and  the  illustration  of  despair,  the  contrast 
struck  so  deeply  into  my  soul  that,  forgetting  my 
manhood,  I  burst  into  tears  and  wept  like  some 
broken-hearted  child  upon  her  shoulder.  What  a 
blessed  thing  are  tears,  and  what  a  dreadful  ca- 


lamity  it  was  to  this  poor  woman  that  she  could 
not  shed  them  !  Her  children  married  well,  and 
are  happy,  for  time  brings  its  consolation  to  the 
young  even  if  it  opens  wider  and  extends  deeper 
the  wounds  which  maturer  hearts  have  received. 

196  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

Immediately  on  my  return  to  Edenton  my  father 
made  me  a  copartner  in  his  business,  and  I  went 
regularly  to  work.  This  did  not  mean  child's  play, 
as  his  practice  extended  over  several  counties,  and  it 
required  six  horses  to  do  that  portion  of  it  which 
could  be  reached  on  land.  He  had  also  a  number  of 
patients  who  were  only  accessible  by  water,  and 
many  a  thrilting  adventure  did  I  have  while  cross- 
ing the  sounds  and  rivers  in  the  '^dug-outs" 
deculiar  to  that  section. 

Mr.  Josiah  Collins,  who  lived  on  Lake  Scupper- 
nong,  in  Washington  County,  regularly  employed 
us,  and  to  reach  his  house  the  sound  had  to  be 
crossed  and  a  journey  of  thirty-five  miles  made  by 
land.  This  gentleman  and  his  place  require  more 
than  a  passing  notice,  as  he  was  an  extraordinary 
man,  and  it  was  one  of  the  most  beautiful  estates 
in  the  South. 

His  grandfather  came  from  England  at  an  early 
period  in  the  history  of  the  Colonies  and  settled  at 
Edenton,  where  by  his  intelligence,  energy  and 
character  he  acquired  a  princely  fortune  and  left 
an  honored  name.  The  son  who  succeeded  him 
was  a  fit  representative  of  his  father,  and  having 
married  a  lady  belonging  to  one  of  the  best  families 
of  New  Berne,  he  raised  a  large  family  of  children, 
each  one  of  whom  possessed  remarkable  gifts  of  mind 


and  person.  The  ladies  of  the  family  were  especi- 
ally distinguished  for  their  beauty,  their  intelli- 
gence and  their  accomplishments,  while  their  house 
was  the  center  of  society  for  that  section  of  the 
State — and  a  more  delightful  and  hospitable  one 
can  not  be  conceived  of.  As  they  regularly  visited 
the  principal  cities  and  watering-places,  and  had 
in  addition  to  their  charm  of  person  and  character 
large  fortunes  in  their  own  right,  they  were  the 
greatest  belles  in  that  part  of  the  country.  They 
had,  in  fact,  many  offers  of  marriage,  and  it  was  a 
rare  thing  for  the  town  not  to  have  as  a  visitor  some 
stranger  of  distinction  who  was  seeking  to  ally 
himself  with  that  family.  The  fortunate  suitors 
were  the  Hon.  William  B.  Shepard,  Dr.  Matthew 
Page,  Dr.  Thomas  A.  Harrison  and  Dr.  Thomas 
D.  Warren,  the  latter  being  a  near  relative  of  my 

The  sons  were  also  splendid  types  of  humanity, 
possessing  fine  physiques  and  good  minds  improved 
by  excellent  educations. 

Hugh  W.  Collins,  the  second  son,  stood  six  feet 
and  two  inches  in  his  stockings,  and  though  of  hercu- 
lean proportions  his  figure  was  symmetrical  and  his 
carriage  remarkably  graceful.  He  had  besides  an 
exceedingly  handsome  and  attractive  face,  with 
regular  features,  .soft  blue  eyes,  and  a  smile  of 
peculiar  fascination,  while  his  head  was  of  faultless 
development,  covered  with  a  profusion  of  sunny 
curls,  and  sat  on  his  shoulders  like  that  of  an 
Apollo.  Though  he  was  as  lavish  with  his  means 
as  a  prince,  as  gentle  in  nature  as  a  girl,  and  as 
gay  of  spirits  as  a  bird,  he  was  brave  to  rashness, 
and  as  chivalrous  as  any  Plumed  Knight.  He  ex- 
celled in  everything.  He  was  the  strongest  man, 
the  best  horseman,  the  deadliest  shot,  the  finest 
boxer,  the  fleetest  skater,  the  greatest  beau,  and  the 

198  A  doctor's  experiences 

most  eloquent  speaker  in  his  section.  His  memory, 
also,  was  something  phenomenal,  retaining  every- 
thing with  absolute  fidelity,  and  rendering  him  a 
perfect  encyclopedia.  Nature,  in  truth,  had  been 
lavish  with  him,  and  having  in  his  early  days  ap- 
preciated her  bounty,  he  grew  up  a  second  Crich- 
ton  : 

"  A  combination  and  a  form  indeed, 
AVhere  every  god  did  seem  to  set  his  seal, 
To  give  the  world  assurance  of  a  man." 

And  yet  with  all  this  promise  and  these  splendid 
gifts  he  never  rose  to  be  more  than  a  member  of 
the  legislature,  and  he  died  at  a  comparatively 
early  age,  with  but  a  modicum  of  fame  and  an  estate 
in  ruins.  His  manhood  was  consecrated  to  great 
intentions — to  dreams  which  loere  to  he  realized  ; 
his  generosity  was  abused  by  friends  who  lived 
upon  his  bounty  and  made  returns  only  in  promises  ; 
his  geniality  but  served  to  cripple  his  talents  and 
to  destroy  his  health,  and  his  career,  which  ought 
to  have  been  as  refulgent  as  the  march  of  the  sun, 
was  simply  dazzling  like  the  flight  of  a  meteor. 

He  died  in  1854  in  the  old  mansion  at  Edenton, 
of  dropsy  resulting  from  cirrhosis  of  the  liver;  and 
as  I  saw  his  magnificent  frame  and  his  splendid 
intellect  succumb  to  the  King  of  Terrors,  I  could 
but  reflect  upon  the  insignificance  of  humanity  and 
learn  a  lesson  of  humility  which  I  have  never  for- 

Josiah  Collins,  the  eldest  son,  though  totally 
different  from  his  brother,  possessed  many  remark- 
able traits  of  character.  He  was  a  man  of  high 
principles,  brilliant  intellect,  great  kindness  of 
heart,  and  extraordinary  capacity  for  business,  but 
the  predominating  trait  in  his  character  was  pride. 
The  senior  member  of  the  family,  and  having  im- 

IN    THREE   CONTINENTS.  \  199 

bibecl  his  father's  English  ideas  and  convictions, 
he  regarded  himself  as  the  representative  of  every 
excellence  which  appertained  to  it.  He  esteemed 
his  blood  the  bluest,  his  opinions  the  wisest,  his 
tastes  the  truest,  and  everything  identified  with 
Jdm  the  most  perfect  that  the  world  contained. 
He  was  an  autocrat  with  a  will  as  imperious  and  a 
sway  as  absolute  as  the  Czar  himself;  but,  though 
impatient  and  arbitrary  when  antagonized,  he  was 
the  soul  of  courtesy,  amiability  and  kindness  when 
unopposed.  Indeed,  sUch  a  fascination  of  manner, 
€ourtliness  of  bearing,  fluency  in  conversation,  fa- 
cility of  adaptation  to  circumstances  and  geniality 
of  disposition  as  he  could  display  I  have  never  seen 
united  in  the  same  individual. 

Somerset  Place,  as  he  designated  his  homo,  was 
a  most  elegant  and  charming  establishment.  The 
house  was  of  modern  construction  and  arranged 
with  special  reference  to  the  comfort  of  its  inmates. 
It  was  filled  with  costly  furniture,  interesting 
books,  beautiful  plate  and  treasures  of  art;  sur- 
rounded by  stately  oaks  and  cypresses,  and  with  a 
beautiful  lawn  on  the  one  side  and  a  spacious  gar- 
den on  the  other.  It  was  built  immediately  upon 
the  shore  of  Lake  Scuppernong,  a  beautiful  sheet 
of  water  more  than  twenty-five  miles  in  circumfer- 
ence and  connected  with  the  river  of  the  same  name 
by  a  canal  of  Mr.  Collins'  own  construction.  The 
farm,  embracing  several  thousand  acres  of  arable 
land,  which  had  gradually  been  reclaimed  and 
brought  into  cultivation,  was  as  rich  as  the  Delta 
and  yielded  annually  a  princely  income.  There 
were  about  three  hundred  negroes  on  the  place, 
who  were  in. a  state  of  perfect  discipline,  while  the 
greatest  attention  was  paid  to  their  comfort,  health 
and  general  welfare,  including  their  spiritual  con- 
dition, for  their  owner  was  a  staunch  churchman, 

200  A  doctor's  experiexces 

and  maintained  a  chapel  and  chaplain  at  his  owd 
expense.  Indeed^  it  was  a  constant  source  of  in- 
terest to  see  the  negroes  flocking  to  church  on 
Sundays,  participating  in  the  services — for  they 
knew  every  word  of  the  "prayer-book" — and  par- 
taking of  the  holy  communion  at  the  same  table 
with  their  master  and  the  members  of  his  family. 
In  my  early  days  there  were  still  living  several 
old  men  who  were  known  as  ''Guinea  negroes," 
being  the  remnants  of  the  cargoes  of  African  slaves 
which  certain  enterprising  ■  New  England  traders- 
had  brought  into  those  waters  and  sold  at  hand- 
some prices  to  the  neighboring  planters.  These 
antiquated  darkeys  spoke  a  sort  of  gibberish,  which 
was  a  medley  of  their  original  dialect  and  the 
English  language,  and  to  me  was  perfectly  unin- 
telligible. They  retained  all  of  their  original 
fetich  superstitions  and  were  as  uncivilized, 
even  in  their  old  age,  as  when  they  roamed  in 
youthful  freedom  among  the  jungles  of  the  dark 
continent.  The  negroes,  generally,  on  this  estate 
were  of  a  peculiar  type — a  people  sui  generis. 
Having  descended  from  ancestors  who  were  orig- 
inally kidnapped  in  Africa,  and  never  having  been 
brought  into  relations  with  other  representatives 
of  their  race,  they  had  retained  many  of  the  ideas 
and  traditions  of  their  native  land.  Though  ram- 
pant Christians,  with  "the  service"  upon  the  tips 
of  their  tongues,  they  still  had  faith  in  evil  genii, 
charms,  philters,  metempsychosis^  etc.,  and  they 
habitually  indulged  in  an  infinitude  of  cabal- 
istic rites  and  ceremonies,  in  which  the  gizzards  of 
chickens,  the  livers  of  dogs,  the  heads  of  snakes 
and  the  tails  of  lizards  played  a  mysterious  but 
very  conspicuous  part. 

One   of  their  customs  was  playing  at  what  they 
called  "John  Koonering,"  though  this  was  more 


of  a  fa7itasia  than  a  religious  demonstration  ;  that 
it  had,  however,  some  connection  with  their  relig- 
ion is  evident  from  the  fact  that  they  only  in- 
dulged in  it  on  Christian  festivals,  notahly  on 
Christmas  day.  The  leading  character  is  the 
*' ragman/'  whose  "  get-up "  consists  in  a  costume 
of  rags,  so  arranged  that  one  end  of  each  hangs 
loose  and  dangles;  two  great  ox  horns,  attached  to 
the  skin  of  a  raccoon,  which  is  drawn  over  the 
head  and  face,  leaving  apertures  only  for  the  eyes 
and  mouth  ;  sandals  of  the  skin  of  some  wild 
'' varmint;"  several  cow  or  sheep  bells  or  strings 
of  dried  goats'  horns  hanging  about  their  shoul- 
ders, and  so  arranged  as  to  jingle  at  every  move- 
ment; and  a  short  stick  of  seasoned  w^ood,  carried 
in  his  hands. 

The  second  part  is  taken  by  the  best  looking 
darkey  of  the  place,  who  wears  no  disguise^  but  is 
simply  arrayed  in  what  they  call  his  '^Sunday-go-to- 
meeting  suit,"  and  carries  in  his  hand  a  small 
bowl  or  tin  cup,  while  the  other  parts  are  appro- 
priated by  some  half  a  dozen  fellows,  each  arrayed 
fantastically  in  ribbons,  rags,  and  feathers,  and 
bearing  between  them  several  so-called  musical  in- 
struments or  ''  gumba  boxes,"  which  consist  of 
wooden  frames  covered  over  with  tanned  sheep- 
skins. These  are  usually  followed  by  a  motley 
crowd  of  all  ages,  dressed  in  their  ordinary  work- 
ing clothes,  which  seemingly  comes  as  a  guard  of 
honor  to  the  performers. 

Having  thus  given  you  an  idea  of  the  characters 
I  will  describe  the  performance  as  I  first  saw  it  at 
the  ''Lake."  Coming  up  to  the  front  door  of  the 
"  great  house,"  the  musicians  commenced  to  beat 
their  gumba-boxes  violently,  while  characters  No. 
1  and  No.  2  entered  upon  a  dance  of  the  most  ex- 
traordinary   character — a    combination    of   bodily 

202  A  doctor's  experiences 

contortions,  flings,  kicks,  gyrations,  and  antics  of 
every  imaginable  description,  seemingly  acting  as 
partners,  and  yet  each  trying  to  excel  the  other  in 
ithe  variety  and  grotescjueness  of  his  movements. 
At  the  same  time  No.  2  led  off  with  a  song  of  a 
^strange,  monotonous  cadence,  which  seemed  ex- 
temporized for  the  occasion,  and  to  run  somewhat 
in  this  wise : 

"  My  massa  am  a  white  man,  juba ! 
Old  missus  am  a  lady,  juba  I 
De  children  am  de  honey-pods,  juba  I  juba ! 
Krismas  come  but  once  a  year,  juba  I 
Juba!  juba!     O,  ye juba ! 

"  De  darkeys  lubs  de  hoe-cake,  juba  ! 
Take  de  '  quarter'  for  to  buy  it,  juba  ! 
Fetch  him  lono-,  you  white  folks,  juba !  juba  I 
Krismas  come  Ijut  once  a  year,  juba  I 
Juba !  juba  !     O,  ye  juba  !" 

wdiile  the  whole  crowd  joined  in  the  chorus, 
shouting  and  clapping  their  hands  in  the  wildest 
^\ee.  After  sino'inor  a  verse  or  two  No.  2  moved 
up  to  the  master,  with  his  hat  in  one  hand  and  a 
tin  cup  in  the  other,  to  receive  the  expected  "quar- 
ter," and,  while  making  the  lowest  obeisance, 
shouted:  "  May  de  good  Lord  bless  old  massa  and 
missus,  and  all  de  young  massas,  juba!"  The  "rag 
man"  during  this  part  of  the  performance  con- 
tinued his  dancing,  singing  at  the  top  of  his  voice 
the  same  refrain,  and  striking  vigorously  at  the 
crowd,  as  first  one  and  then  another  of  its  mem- 
bers attempted  to  tear  off  his  "  head  gear"  and  to 
reveal  his  identity.  And  then  the  expected  "quar- 
ter" having  been  jingled  for  some  time  in  the  tin  cup, 
the  performers  moved  on  to  visit  in  turn  the  young 
gentlemen's  colony,  the  tutor's  rooms,  the  par- 
son's study,  the  overseer's  house,  and^  finally,  the 
quarters^  to  wind  up  with  a  grand  jollification,  in 


which  all  took  part  until  they  broke  down  and 
gave  it  up  from  sheer  exhaustion.  Except  at  the 
''  Lake"  and  in  Edenton,  where  it  originated  with 
the  Collins'  negroes,  I  never  witnessed  this  per- 
formance in  America,  and  I  was  convinced  from 
the  first  that  it  was  of  foreign  origin,  based  on 
:some  festive  ceremony  which  the  negroes  had  in- 
herited from  their  African  ancestors. 

This  opinion  was  fully  confirmed  during  my 
residence  in  Egpyt,  for  I  found  that  the  blacks  in 
that  country  amuse  themselves  at  By  ram — the 
principal  feast  of  the  Koran — with  a  performance 
absolutely  identical  with  that  which  I  had  seen  in 
Carolina,  save  in  the  words  of  their  ^' Kooner" 

I  also  met  there  the  exact  counterpart  of  the  old 
^'  Guinea  negroes"  of  the  Lake,  and  I  was  glad  to 
see  them  again,  as  they  served  to  revive  the  inci- 
dents and  associations  of  younger  and  happier  days. 

Mr.  Collins  was  pre-eminently  a  social  man,  and 
it  was  the  delight  of  his  heart  to  have  his  house 
filled  with  guests,  and  to  devote  himself  to  their 
entertainment.  I  scarcely  ever  visited  the  "Lake" 
without  finding  a  large  company  assembled  there, 
having  as  good  a  time  as  it  is  possible  to  conceive 
of.  Such  a  host  of  servants,  horses,  carriages, 
games,  boats,  guns,  accouterments,  musical  instru- 
ments, and  appliances  generally  for  interesting  and 
entertaining  people,  I  never  saw  collected  together. 
His  table  also  was  a  most  sumptuous  one.  It 
groaned  in  fact  beneath  the  load  of  every  delicacy 
that  taste  could  suggest,  and  such  triumphs  of  the 
culinary  art  as  were  only  possible  to  the  well- 
trained  darkey  cooks  with  which  his  kitchen  was 
crowded,  while  wines  of  the  most  ancient  vintage 
and  liquors  of  the  choicest  brand  flowed  around  it 
like    water   from    some   exhaustless    spring.     His 


bearing  under  his  own  roof  stamped  him  at  once  as 
a  gentleman,  for  his  greeting  had  in  it  a  tone  of 
sincerity  that  was  simply  delightful,  while  his  hos- 
pitality possessed  a  spontaniety  and  a  comprehen- 
siveness which  instinctively  captivated  every  heart. 

I  regret  to  tell  you  that  the  war  which  he  had 
advocated  with  such  vehemence  and  deemed  so- 
necessary  for  the  vindication  of  Southern  honor 
and  the  maintenance  of  Southern  institutions- 
proved  utterly  disastrous  to  him.  It  drove  him 
from  his  beautiful  home  ;  it  ruined  his  magnifi- 
cent estate  ;  it  scattered  his  well- trained  servants  ; 
it  sent  his  beloved  sons  to  the  battle-field,  and  it 
consigned  him  prematurely  to  the  grave,  a  broken- 
hearted and  an  impoverished  man.  He  had  his 
faults,  for  he  was  of  a  proud  nature,  and  a  domi- 
neering spirit,  oversatisfied  with  himself  and  im- 
patient in  the  face  of  opposition  ;  but  his  virtues 
far  outweighed  his  failings,  and  a  braver,  nobler 
and  more  magnificent  type  of  humanity  has  seldorn 
walked  among  men  in  any  land  or  time.  This  may 
seem  a  fulsome  eulogium  to  those  who  had  no  per- 
sonal acquaintance  with  this  extraordinary  man. 
but  it  will  be  recognized  as  a  true  portrait  and  an. 
honest  statement  by  his  friends  aod  contemporaries. 

My  father  was  the  intimate  friend  and  the  trusted 
physician  of  this  family  for  nearly  fifty  years,  and 
he  has  often  told  me  that  they  were  the  best  people 
he  ever  knew.  They  w^ere  certainly  the  most  gen- 
erous patrons  that  a  medical  man  wa's  ever  blessed 
with,  for  their  first  thought  when  sickness  occurred 
was  to  send  for  their  doctor,  and  they  were  ever 
ready  to  remunerate  him  wath  an  open  hand_, 
whether  the  service  was  rendered  to  themselves  or 
to  the  humblest  of  their  slaves. 

In  the  year  1856  I  determined  to  compete  for  the 
''Fisk  Fund  Prize/'   which   was    offered   by  the 


Medical  Society  of  Rhode  Island  for  the  best  essay 
on  the  subject  of  '^  The  effect  of  pregnancy  on  the 
development  and  march  of  the  tuberculosis." 
Having  devoted  myself  to  intense  study  of  the  sub- 
ject for  two  months,  I  sat  down  to  the  preparation 
of  my  thesis  and  completed  it  in  three  weeks,  mak- 
ing, as  I  thought,  a  strong  argument  in  favor  of 
the  proposition  :  that  the  disease  is,  as  a  rule,  re- 
tarded during  gestation^  and  supporting  it  by  many 
reliable  authorities,  especially  of  the  French  school. 
I  was  careful  to  have  it  mailed  in  the  city  of  Balti- 
more, fearing,  as  I  had  no  personal  knowledge  of 
the  members  of  the  commission  by  which  it  was  to 
be  judged,  that  the  post-mark  of  so  insignificant 
a  village  as  Edenton  might  prejudice  my  chances 
■of  success.  After  waiting  at  least  three  months  in 
a  fever  of  suspense  for  the  decision,  and  when  al- 
most in  despair  of  a  favorable  result,  I  was  grati- 
fied by  the  arrival  of  a  letter  bearing  the  Provi- 
dence post-mark,  and  containing  a  notification  that 
the  prize  had  been  awarded  to  me,  with  a  check 
for  the  amount  to  which  that  result  entitled  the 
successful  competitor.  The  pleasure  which  this 
award  afforded  my  father,  and  the  pride  with 
which  he  announced  it  to  his  friends,  recompensed 
me  a  thousand  fold  more  than  the  money  received, 
which,  by  the  way,  I  invesed  in  the  silver  pitcher 
and  salver  out  of  which  we  so  often  drank  "  claret- 
cup  "  together  in  other  days,  and  which  mf  chil- 
dren still  class  among  their  treasures.  This  suc- 
cess helped  me  in  every  way.  It  stimulated  my 
energies  ;  it  inspired  me  with  confidence  in  myself, 
and  it  gave  me  a  good  start  as  a  medical  man  in 
North  Carolina. 

The  thesis  was  published  in  book  form  by  the 
society,  and  was  for  a  long  time  popular  with  the 

206  A   doctor's   EXPEIUEXCES 

I  also  delivered  the  address  before  the  State. Med- 
ical Society  that  year,  taking  the  ''Yellow  Fever 
Epidemic  of  Norfolk"  as  my  theme,  and  dwelling 
on  the  self-sacrificing  spirit  displayed  in  that  re- 
gard by  the  profession — little  knowing  that  I  should 
subsecjuently  become  so  warmly  attached  to  one  of 
the  heroes  of  that  memorable  visitation.  This  ad- 
dress was  w^ell  received  and  was  published  by  the 
society,  though  I  have  not  seen  a  copy  of  it  in 
twenty  years  at  least.  Some  day  I  want  you  to 
get  a  copy  and  read  it  carefully,  so  that  you 
may  understand  how  well  I  thought  of  you  before 
I  had  the  pleasure  of  your  personal  acquaintance. 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

The  wealthiest  man  in  Chowan  County  at  the 
time  was  James  C.  Johnstone,  Esq.,  who  lived  at  a 
beautiful  place  in  immediate  proximity  to  Edenton, 
called  Hayes.  He  was  the  son  of  Samuel  John- 
stone, who  was  born  at  Dundee,  Scotland,  in  1733. 
and  died  in  Chowan  County  in  1816,  after  a  most 
honorable  career.  As  an  evidence  of  his  worth,  I  beg 
to  refer  you  to  the  distinguished  positions  to  which 
he  was  elevated  during  his  long  and  honorable  ca- 
reer. He  was  one  of  the  clerks  of  the  Superior 
Courts  before  the  Revolution  ;  speaker  of  the  Pro- 
visional Congress  of  his  State  ;  member  of  the  Con- 
tinental Congress  ;  Governor  of  North  Carolina  ; 
president  of  the  convention  to  consider  the  Con- 
stitution ;  Senator  in  the  Congress  of  the  United 
States,  and  Judge  of  the  Superior  Court  of  North 
Carolina.  Wheeler  says  that  ''he  was  mentally 
and  physically  every  inch  a  man.  His  intellect 
was  of  the  highest  order,  cultivated  by  learning  and 
experience.  His  person  was  imposing,  of  a  large 
and  powerful  frame,  erect  and  stately  in  his  car- 
riage and  of  iron  will.  He  joined  the  graces  of  a 
scholar  with  the  wisdom  of  the  statesman."  He 
belonged  to  the  junior  or  cadet  branch  of  the  family 
of  Annandale  in  the  Peerage  of  Scotland,  and  he 
was  undoubtedly  the  rightful  heir  to  the  title  and  es- 
tates which  appertain  to  that  house.  His  father 
brouo;ht  with  him  the  materials  for  the  construe- 

208  A  doctor's  experiences 

tion  of  the  bouse  at  Hayes,  with  his  family  plate, 
pictures  and  heirlooms,  and  having  erected  a  mag- 
nificent mansion,  surrounded  it  with  choice  shrub- 
bery, elaborate  gardens,  a  spacious  park,  and  all 
the  attractions  that  taste  could  suggest,  left  it 
as  a  legacy  to  his  children. 

His  son,  James  Cathcartj  inherited  his  talents, 
tastes,  and  character,  but  not  his  ambition  nor  his 
love  for  public  life.  On  the  contrary^  he  was 
singularly  retiring  in  his  disposition,  and  for  the 
greater  portion  of  his  life  he  devoted  himself  to  the 
management  of  his  estates,  to  the  gratification  of 
his  taste  for  reading,  and  to  the  enjoyment  of  the  so- 
ciety of  a  i'ew  chosen  friends.  Having  been  disap- 
pointed in  an  early  love  affair,  he  never  married, 
and  lived  almost  the  life  of  a  recluse,  dividing  his 
time  between  his  farms  in  Chowan,  Pasquotank, 
and  Halifax.  He  was  originally  a  man  of  aristo- 
cratic appearance,  of  dignified  bearing,  and  of 
great  rectitude  of  character.  Being  much  grieved 
b}^  the  death  of  his  two  maiden  sisters  and  depressed 
by  ill-health,  he  manifested  in  his  later  years  symp- 
toms of  insanity  ;  and  my  father  and  I,  who  were 
his  regular  medical  attendants,  seriously  thought 
at  various  times  of  placing  him  in  an  asylum. 
As  these  attacks  were  not  as  a  general  rule  of  a 
violent  character — the  exceptions  being  two  at- 
tempts at  self-destruction  and  one  at  murder — and 
were  followed  by  long  intervals  of  lucidity,  we 
failed  to  proceed  to  extremities  and  left  him  to  the 
care  of  his  relations  and  attendants  under  his  own 
roof.  Many  an  anxious  hour  have  I  spent  in  his 
chamber,  listening  to  his  ravings  respecting  the 
^'unpardonable  sin"  which  he  had  committed,  the 
^'evil  spirits"  by  which  he  was  pursued,  the  '"poor- 
house"  in  which  he  was  to  spend  his  latter  days, 
and  the  thousand  illusions  which  crowded  his  dis- 


ordered  brain.  And  yet,  after  having  spent  weeks 
in  a  state  of  wild  delirium  and  of  constant  insomnia, 
I  have  seen  him  suddenly  return  to  reason,  and 
resume  his  wonted  dignity  of  manner,  lucidity  of 
intellect,  ease  of  conversation,  and  placidity  of  coun- 
tenance, just  as  if  nothingunusual  had  occurred.  As 
the  secret  of  his  insanity  was  carefully  guarded  by 
those  around  him,  and  as  he  was  seen  by  the  pub- 
lic— including  those  who  regarded  themselves  as 
his  intimate  friends — only  when  he  was  in  his 
right  mind,  the  community  received  with  in- 
€redulity  the  story  of  his  insanity  when  it  eventu- 
ally became  necessary  to  proclaim  it.  But  of  this 

The  rector  of  old  St.  Paul's,  at  Edenton,  the 
Bev.  Samuel  Iredell  Johnstone,  was  the  most  es- 
teemed of  his  relations  and  the  most  cherished  of 
his  friends.  That  gentleman  was  the  son  of  John 
Johnstone,  the  Surveyor-General  of  North  Caro- 
lina in  colonial  days,  and  a  member  of  the  State 
Senate  afterward.  He  graduated  at  Chapel  Hill 
in  the  class  of  1826,  studied  law,  and  subsequ^itly 
abandoned  that  profession  to  enter  the  ministry  of 
the  Episcopal  church.  In  the  pulpit  he  was  noted 
for  the  force  of  his  logic  and  the  fervor  of  his  elo- 
quence, while  out  of  it  he  was  distinguished  for 
his  zeal  and  consistency  as  a  Christian,  and  for  his 
loyalty,  honesty  and  guilelessness  as  a  man. 

He  was  in  all  respects  a  model  pastor,  illustrat- 
ing alike  by  precept  and  example  the  truth,  beauty 
and  excellence  of  the  faith  which  he  professed,  de- 
vot^^ing  himself  with  unfaltering  fidelity  to  the  wel- 
fare of  his  flock,  and  leading  a  life  of  perfect  holi- 
ness and  sanctity. 

He  was  emphatically  the  friend  of  the  poor  and 
the  suffering,  visiting  them,  ministering  to    them, 
and  lavishing  his  sympathy  and  means  upon  them 

210  'A  doctor's  experiexces 

as  if  they  were  allied  to  him  by  the  ties  of  blood. 
He  was,  in  truth,  the  very  impersonation  of  every 
virtue  that  gives  beauty  and  dignity  to  the  human 
character,  and  he  was  worshi}3ed  as  a  saint — as 
something  above  and  beyond  common  humanity — 
by  all  who  knew  him,  and  especially  by  the  church 
which  he  so  honored  by  the  purity  of  his  life  and 
the  brilliancy  of  his  ministry. 

His  death  was  regarded  as  a  public  calamity  by 
those  among  whom  he  had  lived  and  ministered, 
and  though  some  of  those  upon  whom  he  had  lav- 
ished kindnesses  turned  upon  him  in  the  day  of 
his  adversity,  not  an  eye  refused  its  tears  nor  a 
heart  its  sympathy  as  his  remains  w^ere  borne  to. 
the  old  family  graveyard  at  Hayes  to  be  deposited 
amid  the  ashes  of  his  honored  ancestors.  DesjDite 
the  promptings  of  self-interest,  every  man  in  the 
community  realized  that  day  that  he  had  lost  a 
friend,   a  brother  and  a  benefactor. 

He  married  Margaret,  the  second  daughter  of 
George  Burgwyn,  of  "The  Hermitage,"  in  New 
Haiaover  County,  and  the  niece  of  Judge  Nash, 
the  Chief-Justice  of  North  Carolina,  by  whom  he 
had  a  large  family  of  children.  Of  these,  James, 
the  eldest — and  the  rightful  heir  of  the  Earldom  of 
Annandale — was  adopted  by  Mr.  James  C.  John- 
stone at  an  early  age,  and  was  educated  as  the 
^prospective  heir^  of  the  principal  23ortion  of  his 
property.  He  married  my  second  sister,  Kate  Har- 
ris, and  resided  for  many  years  at  Hayes,  which 
Mr.  James  Johnstone  abandoned  to  them,  remov- 
ing to  his  seat  in  Pasquotank  County. 

Mr.  Samuel  Johnstone's  second  daughter,  Eliza- 
beth Cotton,  was  just  budding  into  w^omanhood, 
and  by  common  consent  she  was  recognized  as  the 
beauty  and  the  heJle  of  that  section.  Tall,  slender, 
and  graceful,  with  eyes  as  dark  as  the  night,  a 


profusion  of  curls  with  whicli  the  sheen  of  the  morn- 
ing was  blended,  and  a  face  softened  and  illumi- 
nated like  that  of  a  Madonna,  she  seemed  to  me- 
the  perfection  of  loveliness.  And  when  I  found  her 
heart  the  home  of  every  kind  and  tender  and  gen- 
erous sentiment,  and  her  mind  as  clear  as  the  cur- 
rent of  some  mountain  stream  and  as  bright  as  the 
star  of  the  evening,  my  admiration  transformed  itself 
into  worship,  and  that  became  idolatry.  I  loved  her 
with  all  the  fervor  of  which  my  nature  was  capable — 
with  the  strongest,  truest,  deepest  passion  that  my 
soul  could  formulate — and  compared  with  which 
all  that  I  had  ever  experienced  was  as  a  dew-drop 
to  the  ocean,  as  a  child's  whisper  to  the  tornado's 
breath.  But  how  to  woo  her  was  the  question.  I 
was  many  years  her  senior,  and  as  compared  with 
the  young  men  who  surrounded  her,  a  veritable 
patriarch.  My  prospects  therefore  seemed  desper- 
ate in  the  premises — sufficiently  so  certainly  ta 
have  discouraged  a  majority  of  men,  but  the  very 
desperation  of  the  situation  served  to  inspire  me 
with  a  deeper  love  and  a  stronger  purpose.  Intel- 
lect, will,  energy,  and  every  faculty  which  entered 
into  my  being  seemed  to  develop,  expand,  and 
strengthen  under  the  influence  of  the  intense  pas- 
sion which  possessed  me,  and  I  entered  the  field 
resolved  on  victory,  without  regard  to  difficulties 
and  in  defiance  of  fate  itself.  I  soon  made  it  pa- 
tent to  my  mocking  rivals  that  an  earnest  man  un- 
der the  spell  of  the  grand  passion  and  the  domina- 
tion of  an  imperious  will  is  an  adversary  such  as 
none  can  afford  to  despise.  I  attacked  the  dear 
girl's  heart  with  such  desperate  vigor  as  to 
convince  her  that  she  had,  indeed,  a  serious  lover 
to  deal  with,  and  to  induce  her  to  make  an  attempt 
to  restrain  my  feelings  and  to  save  me  from  their 
consequences  by  the  confession  of  her  engagement 


to  another.  And  yet,  in  the  very  considerateness 
of  this  avowal,  and  in  the  tearful  eyes  and  the 
trernhling  accents  with  which  it  was  made,  I  dis- 
•cerned,  or  believed  I  did,  a  glimmer  of  regret — a 
flicker  of  sympathy — which  was  to  my  heart  what 
Ihe  blazing  fire  is  to  the  wanderer  amid  the  Arctic 
•snows,  and  the  cooling  spring  to  the  traveler  in  the 
desert  sands. 

Instead  of  restraining  me^  it  only  developed  a 
fresher  courage  and  a  more  desperate  energ3^  So  far 
from  "saving  me  from  myself,"  it  but  bound  m}^  soul 
with  stronger  fetters,  and  consigned  it  to  a  more 
hopeless  servitude.  Though  thus  forbidden  to 
speak  of  love  and  to  plead  mj  cause,  my  passion 
found  utterance  in  my  every  tone  and  look  and 
gesture,  and  spoke  for  itself  in  the  consecration  of 
my  life  to  this  single  aim  and  aspiration.  Finally 
my  lady  love's  fiance,  whose  military  duties  had 
hitherto  confined  him  to  the  plains,  suddenly  ap- 
23eared  upon  the  scene,  having  come  to  settle  upon 
the  wedding  day.  He  had  naturally  expected  to 
have  a  good  time  in  Edenton,  never  dreaming  of 
finding  a  lion  in  his  path,  or  that  the  field  was 
aught  else  than  his  exclusive  property. 

It  so  happened  that  I  was  out  walking  with  her 
when  she  received  the  intelligence  of  his  arrival, 
and  I  saw  that  she  blanched,  reeled,  and  came  near 
fainting  in  my  arms.  Thus  inspired  by  her  pale 
cheeks  and  tearful  eyes  and  trembling  frame,  I 
•opened  the  flood  gates  of  my  soul  and  told  her  of 
my  great  love,  my  supreme  devotion,  .my  wild 
idolatry,  and  implored  her  as  she  valued  her  own 
happiness,  and  would  save  me  from  utter  misery, 
to  break  her  engagement  with  him  and  to  become 
my  wife.  Her  only  answer,  as  we  walked  along, 
was  a  flood  of  tears,  and  a  succession  of  tremors, 
which  shook  her  frame  as  the  whirlwind  shakes  the 


aspen  ;  but  when  I  left  her  at  her  father's  door 
she  said  in  accents  which  to  my  ears  were  sweeter 
than  the  songs  of  the  angels  :  "  Visit  me  as  usual/' 
I  took  her  at  her  word,  and  not  only  visited  her 
'^  as  usual,"  but  every  day  while  my  rival  remained 
in  Edenton,  rendering  him  perfectly  mad  with 
jealousy.  I  had  already  made  an  engagement  to 
ride  with  her  on  the  succeeding  day_,  and  at  the 
hour  designated  I  was  at  her  father's  house  ready 
for  the  promenade  ci  clieval. 

She  was  a  splendid  horsewoman,  but  hardly  was 
she  in  the  sa_ddle  before  the  horse,  taking  the  bit 
in  his  teeth,  started  off  at  a  fearful  speed.  My  first 
thought  was  to  swoop  by  and  rescue  her  by  encir- 
cling her  with  my  right  arm  and  lifting  her  from 
her  seat,  but  I  soon  found  that  her  horse  was 
fleeter  than  mine,  and  that  I  could  not  overtake 
her,  though  whip  and  spur  were  used  unmercifully. 
God  alone  will  ever  know  the  agony  of  my  heart 
as  I  saw  her  borne  away  while  I  was  powerless  to 
assist  her,  and  either  severe  injury  or  instant  death 
seemed  inevitable.  Suddenly  a  manly  form  dashed 
from  the  side-walk,  and  a  strong  arm  seized  the 
bridle  and  threw  the  horse  back  upon  his  haunches, 
while  she  sprang  lithely  and  unhurt  to  the  ground^ 
her  face  radiant  with  smiles  of  gratitude  to  her 
gallant  rescuer,  who  proved  to  be  her  suitor  and  my 
rival.  In  the  excitement  of  the  moment  I  sprang- 
from  my  horse,  threw  my  arms  around  his  neck 
and  overwhelmed  him  with  thanks  and  congratu- 

As  she  was  unhurt  and  undaunted,  we  exchanged 
horses  and  rode  quietly  back  to  her  father's  house, 
before  which  the  whole  family — including  the  in- 
dignant lover — was  assembled  in  a  state  of  intense 
excitement  and  anxiety.  Somehow,  perhaps  under 
the   tuition  of  the  fiance,  they  seemed  inclined  to 

214  A  doctor's  experiexces 

hold  me  responsible  for  the  contretemps,  and  the 
scowls  with  which  they  greeted  me  went  like  dag- 
gers through  my  heart.  Perceiving  the  unkindness 
of  their  reception  and  the  hot  flush  which  had  con- 
sequently mantled  my  cheeks,  she  broke  out  in 
a  ringing  laugh,  and  said:  '^Ob,  I  am  not  hurt 
a  bit,  and  the  Doctor  and  T  intend  to  take  sl 'drive 
-after  all,  for  I  can't  stay  indoors  on  such  a  beauti- 
ful afternoon."'  Taking  tbe  hint,  and  feeling  that 
her  purpose  was  to  defend  me  by  thus  showing  ber 
■confidence,  I  dasbed  off,  and  returned  in  a  sbort 
time  with  my  buggy  and  team,  and  despite  pater- 
nal protests  and  the  angry  looks  of  the  lover,  we 
had  the  most  delightful  drive  that  can  be  conceived 
of — though  she  did  j)lace  an  embargo  on  my  lips 
-as  regards  the  subject  nearest  to  my  heart. 

Of  course,  I  knew  nothing  of  what  was  going  on 
between  the  twain  at  the  time,  tbough  I  could 
plainly  perceive  that  he  was  not  happy  and  that 
matters  did  not  progress  as  he  had  hoped  and  ex- 
l^ected.  Fortunately  for  me  his  leave  was  brief, 
and  at  the  expiration  of  a  week — which  seemed  an 
age  when  counted  by  my  heart  throbs  and  appre- 
hensions— he  took  his  departure  and  I  was  again 
master  of  the  situation.  Poor  fellow  !  He  was 
wounded  at  the  head  of  his  brigade  in  the  battle 
of  Sharpsburg,  and  came  to  Kaleigh  to  die  in  the 
arms  of  a  doting  wife,  lamented  by  all  who  knew 
him,  but  by  no  one  more  than  the  fair  cousm  whom 
lie  had  loved  so  dearly  in  his  younger  days.  As 
we  stood  together  over  his  open  grave  and  saw  his 
remains  lowered  to  their  final  resting-place,  our 
minds  naturally  traveled  over  the  long  road  that 
led  back  to  the  scenes  which  I  have  just  recounted, 
and  as  we  thought  of  them  and  of  all  the  strange 
events  which  we  had  subsequently  encountered  to- 
gether, though  we  did   not  love  him  the  less,  we 


loved  each  other  the  more,  and  thanked  God  for 
the  choice  which  w'e  had  made  and  for  the  blessed 
privilege  of  making  it. 

On  the  day  after  his  departure  I  sought  an  in- 
terview, and  pleaded  long  and  earnestly  for  a 
favorable  answer,  but  all  in  vain.  ^'  I  shall  never 
marry.  Dr.  Warren,  and  this  must  end,"  were  the 
decisive  words  which  sealed  my  fate  for  the  time 
being  and  made  me  the  most  miserable  of  men. 
^'  You  must  marry  me  and  this  cannot  end,"  was 
tbe  only  language  that  I  could  find  with  which  to 
give  expression  to  my  feelings  as  I  took  my  de- 
parture, greatly  pained  but  more  resolute  of  purpose 
than  ever.  Shortly  afterward  Dr.  Thomas  D .  Warren 
gave  a  magnificent  ball,  which  I  attended,'  with  the 
firm  determination  not  to  approach  her,  and  to  de- 
vote myself  to  some  other  woman,  hoping  to  excite 
her  jealousy  and  thus  to  further  my  aims.  The  mo- 
ment, however,  that  she  entered  the  room,  radiant 
^as  she  was  in  her  matchless  beauty,  I  forgot  my 
purpose,  and  breaking  through  the  throng  of  young 
men  which  surrounded  her,  I  insisted  upon  the 
privilege  of  dancing  with  her  before  she  had  had 
time  to  make  another  engagement.  She  accepted 
this  proposition,  and  another  for  the  succeeding 
«et,  and  then  another  for  a  "^  walk  on  the  piazza," 
listening  all  the  time,  and  not  unkindly,  as  I  ridi- 
culed her  resistance  to  the  inevitable,  assured  her 
of  my  fixed  purpose  to  make  her  mine,  and  whis- 
pered the  story  of  my  love  into  her  ears  without 
stint  or  interruption.  This  was  one  of  the  happi- 
■est  occasions  of  my  life,  for  it  was  spent  in  her 
society,  and  it  resulted  in  the  establishment  of  re- 
lations between  us  which  permitted  me  to  plead 
my  cause  at  discretion,  without  going  into  a  formal 
courtship  or  making  a  definite  issue.  And  so 
things  continued   for    several  weeks,  the   barriers 


separating  our  souls  breakinp:  down  with,  each  suc- 
ceeding day  ;  a  reciprocal  interest  and  dependence 
gradually  developing  between  us,  and  the  clouds 
which  had  darkened  the  sky  above  us  disappearing, 
slowly,  it  might  be,  but  sufficiently  to  afford 
glimpses  of  the  heaven  beyond  them.  During  the 
whole  of  this  time  1  never  asked  a  question  con- 
cerning her  engagement,  but  treated  it  as  a  thing 
of  the  past.  Finally,  having  grown  impatient  of 
delay,  and  resolved  to  bring  the  matter  to  an  issue, 
I  said  to  her  one  night,  "  I  have  a  proposition  to 
make  to  you.  You  have  rejected  me  many  times, 
and  you  will  have  to  do  so  many  more  if  things 
go  on  in  this  way,  and  you  are  really  in  earnest  in 
declining  me — which  I  cannot  believe.  Suppose 
you  try  the  experiment  of  an  engagement  for  one 
week,  just  to  test  the  matter  and  to  see  whether 
you  would  like  it  or  not.  I  will  give  you  my  word 
as  a  gentleman  that  it  shall  be  kept  a  profound 
secret  and  that  I  will  release  you  at  the  end  of  the 
time  without  feeling  that  you  have  compromised 
yourself  or  have  encouraged  me  in  the  least. 

Her  eyes  sparkled,  and  with  the  merriest  laugh 
imaginable  she  answered:  "Very  well.  But  on 
condition  that  you  will  not  see  me  during  the  week, 
and  will  take  my  answer  at  the  end  of  that  time  as 
a  final  one." 

'"  All  right,"  said  1]  "  When  I  leave  this  house 
to-night  it  will  be  to  absent  myself  for  an  entire 
week  ;  and  I  will  take  your  answer  as  a  final  one 
at  the  expiration  of  that  time  if  it  kills  me,  though 
I  shall  continue  to  love  you  with  all  the  fervor  of 
which  my  soul  is  capable  while  consciousness  re- 

''Then,  o-ood  niodit.  Dr.  Warren,  and  adieu 
until  next  Sunday  afternoon,  when  our  engage- 
ment will  have  ended  and  you  can  join  me  after 


church  to  hear  what  I  have  to  say.  I  shall  have 
at  least  one  week"  of  repose,  with  no  bouquets  to 
preserve  and  no  cards  of  thanks  to  write — at  least 
to  you." 

''  But  I  have  not  gone  yet,  and  we  are  actually 
engaged — I  mean  for  a  week?" 

"Yes,  actually  engaged — for  a  week.  How  do 
you  like  it  thus  far?" 

"  Like  it,  my  love,  my  darling,  it  is  Heaven  !" 
and  seizing  her  suddenly  in  my  arms,  I  planted  a 
dozen  burning  kisses  upon  her  virgin  lips. 

"What  do  you  mean,  sir/'  she  cried,  as  she 
struggled  to  free  herself  from  my  embrace,  only  to 
be  held  more  tightly,  and  to  be  kissed  more  ardently 
than  before. 

"Mean,  my  love!  my  angel?  Are  we  not  en- 
gaged, and  is  not  this  one  of  the  privileges  of  an 
engaged  man?" 

She  escaped  from  me  by  a  violent  effort,  burst 
into  hysterical  sobs,  and  flew  from  the  room,  while 
I  slipped  out«of  the  front  door  and  hurried  home, 
half  dead  between  excitement  at  what  had  occurred 
and  terror  for  the  consequences  of  my  temerity. 

For  the  entire  week  I  remained  in  a  state  of  the 
greatest  anxiety,  expecting  every  moment  to  receive 
either  a  hostile  message  from  her  brothers  or  a 
letter  of  denunciation  from  her  father,  or  a  note  of 
indignant  dismissal  from  herself,  and  yet  hoping  that 
my  presumption  might  be  pardoned  in  view  of  the 
desperate  strait  in  which  I  was  placed,  and  the  high 
stake  for  which  I  had  played.  • 

On  the  succeeding  Sunday  afternoon  I  joined  her 
at  the  church  door  and  walked  with  her  over  to 
Hayes,  and  along  the  shore  of  the  bay  until  we 
reached  a  secluded  spot  which,  with  its  grassy  sward 
and  overhanging  vines  and  perfume  of  jessamine, 
seemed  especially  constructed  for  such  a  tryst  as 


ours,  and  which  will  live  in  raemm^y  until  the  grass 
has  covered  my  grave. 

"  For  there  was  I  first  truly  blessed, 
For  there  in  ray  fond  arm  I  pressed, 
My  blushing  Genevieve." 

I  cannot  relate  the  incidents  of  that  interview, 
for  they  are  sacred,  but  will  only  say  that  a  revela- 
tion was  made  in  it  which  crowned  with  victory 
the  struggle  of  so  many  weeks  and  made  me  the 
proudest  and  the  happiest  of  men. 

Though  my  desperate  venture  had  amazed  and 
startled  her  immeasurably,  it  had  awakened  her  to 
the  consciousness  that  her  heart  in  its  every  atom 
and  pulsation  was  mine — absolutely  and  exclusively 
mine.  She  had  promptly  rejected  her  lover,  but  he 
had  exacted  a  promise  that  she  w^ould  engage  her- 
self to  no  one  for  a  year,  and,  restrained  b}"  a  sense 
of  that  obligation,  she  w^as  in  a  maze  of  doubt  and 
uncertainty,  from  which  nothing  could  have  ex- 
tracted her  save  the  decisive  measure  which  my 
desperation  had  inspired  as  a  crucial  test  of  her 
feelings  and  a  final  means  of  deciding  my  destiny. 

We  w^ere  married  on  the  16th  of  November,  1857, 
in  old  St.  Paul's,  surrounded  by  loving  relations 
and  admiring  friends,  and  with  hearts  aglow  wdth 
love  and  replete  with  happiness  we  set  out  upon 
the  voyage  of  live,  dreaming  only  of  sunny  skies 
and  favoring  breezes.  How  that  dream  was  realized 
the  succeeding  pages  of  these  memoirs  will  disclose, 
fox  henceforth  they  become  the  record  of  our  com- 
mingled lives — the  history  of  two  existences 
molded  into  one  by  the  plastic  power  of  reciprocal 
affection  and  a  common  destiny. 

After  a  brief  visit  to  relatives  in  Virginia  and 
to  friends  in  New  York — where,  by  the  way,  we 
met  the  aforsaid  lover  on  his  w^edding  trip — we  re- 


turned  to  Carolina  and  took  up  our  residence  at 
Albania,  a  beautiful  estate  in  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  Edenton.  On  the  day  previous  to  our  marriage 
J  had  been  summoned  to  Hayes,  and  had  received 
from  Mr.  Johnstone  deeds  for  Albania  and  a  num- 
ber of  servants — including  his  best  cook — and  a 
considerable  sum  of  money,  with  the  assurance 
that  his  gift  to  my  intended  wife  would  be  found 
in  his  will,  and  that  it  was  a  handsome  one. 

220  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

The  promised  gift  never  came  for  reasons  which 
I  will  proceed  to  explain,  although  the  relation  of 
the  story  fires  my  blood  even  at  this  distant    day. 

Mr.  Johnstone,  it  is  true,  regarded  secession  as  a 
crime,  but  it  was  from  a  personal  standpoint  alone. 
Always  morbidly  apprehensive  of  the  ''poor-house," 
.he  saw  in  the  contest  between  the  sections  certain 
l^ecuniary  ruin  for  himself.  There  developed  there- 
fore from  this  morbid  apprehension  of  poverty  an 
uncompromising  hatred  of  all  who  had  precipitated 
the  war,  and  who  were  taking  part  in  it.  In  this 
way  he  became  alienated  from  his  friends  and  fam- 
ily connections,  for  though  none  of  us  were  "  ori- 
ginal secessionists,"  we  had  entered  the  service 
bij^the  Confederacy  so  soon  as  North  Carolinajoined 
her  fortunes  with  it  and  called  her  sons  to  arms. 
He  even  permitted  himself  to  hate  his  dearly  loved 
friend  and  relative,  the  rector,  because  several  of 
his  sons  had  volunteered,  and  he  had  sought  ref- 
uge under  the  roof  of  one  of  them  at  Chapel  Hill. 
Under  the  influence  of  these  feelings,  his  already 
diseased  brain  lost  its  equilibrium,  and  insanity 
manifested  itself  under  the  guise  of  a  monomania 
of  furious  hatred  of  his  family.  James,  his  adopted 
son,  who  was  living  at  Ha3^es,  where  Mr.  John- 
stone had  sought  refuge  after  the  breaking  out  of 
the  war,  and  devoting  himself  with  unfaltering  as- 


siduity  to  the  care  of  the  old  man,  endeavored  to 
pacify  and  restrain  him,  hut  only  with  the  result 
of  falling  equally  under  the  ban  of  his  displeasure, 
as  the  sequel  only  too  cruelly  demonstrated. 

Concealing  his  sentiments  and  purposes  with 
that  refinement  of  cunning  which  so  often  charac- 
terizes the  insane,  he  invited  my  sister  to  the  li- 
brary, and,  in  the  most  friendly  manner,  proposed 
a  visit  to  her  father  at  Lynchburg,  Virginia,  upon 
the  grounds  of  her  delicate  health,  and  of  her 
long  separation  fi'om  her  family.  Suspecting  no 
€vil  design,  as  their  relations  had  always  been 
most  cordial  and  confidential,  the  poor  girl  thanked 
him  kindly  for  his  solicitude,  and  accepted  his 
seemingly  considerate  suggestion.  It  was  there- 
fore arranged  that  she  and  her  children  should  set 
out  on  the  succeeding  day  for  the  nearest  ferry  on» 
the  Chowan,  accompanied  by  her  husband,  who 
was  to  return  after  having  crossed  the  river  with 
his  family. 

Mr.  Johnstone  helped  the  mother  and  her  little 
flock  into  the  carriage,  kissed  each  one  most  affec- 
tionately, begged  them  to  return  as  soon  as  possi- 
ble, and  remained  upon  the  portico  waving  his 
handkerchief  after  them  until  they  were  out  of 
sight.  In  an  hour  afterward  he  ordered  the  farm 
wagons  to  be  brought  to  the  house,  had  all  of  their 
effects  placed  in  them,  hauled  over  to  Edenton,  and 
pitched  pell-mell  into  the  street  before  the  door  of 
my  father's  unoccupied  house.  At  the  same  time 
he  dispatched  a  messenger  with  a  note  for  James, 
in  which  he  disinherited  the  young  man — the 
adopted  son  whom  he  had  raised  so  tenderly,  and 
professed  to  love  so  well — and  declared  that  neither 
he  nor  his  wife  nor  their  children  should  cross  his 
(Mr.  Johnstone's)  threshold  again.'  He  then  sent 
to  Raleigh  and  had  removed  from  the  vault  of  the 

222  A  doctor's  experiences 

bank  there  the  will  which  he  had  previously  made 
in  favor  of  his  relatives,  and  destroyed  it  with 
great  parade  of  exaltation. 

James  immediately  returned  to  Hayes,  but  was^ 
refused  admittance.  Mr.  Samuel  Johnstone  sub- 
sequently came  to  Edenton  and  sought  an  inter- 
view, only  to  be  treated  with  such  indignity  as  to 
send  him  in  sorrow  to  his  grave.  My  wife,  who 
had  been  from  childhood  the  object  of  his  special 
love  and  admiration,  sent  him  a  kind  message,  to 
which  he  returned  no  answer.  In  a  word,  without 
the  semblance  of  an  excuse  or  the  shadow  of  a  justi- 
fication, he  persistently  turned  his  back  upon  all 
who  were  allied  to  him  by  ties  of  blood,  and  spent 
the  remainder  of  his  days  in  reviling  them  and  in 
concocting  a  scheme  for  their  humiliation  and  ruin. 
,  He  then  appeared  in  an  entirely  new  role,  mani- 
festing a  complete  revolution  in  his  sentiments  and 
deportment.  He  had  been  the  most  exclusive  of 
men,  selecting  his  associates  from  the  highest  ranks 
of  society,  and  manifesting  a  specially  dignified 
and  reserved  manner.  He  now  sought  the  associa- 
tion of  individuals  beneath  him  in  birth,  educa- 
tion, and  position,  and  treated  them  as  boon  com- 
panions and  intimate  friends. 

He  had  plumed  himself  upon  his  own  integrity, 
and  his  ostracism  of  dishonest  and  unscrupulous 
men.  He  made  it  a  point  to  take  into  his  confi- 
dence, and  to  treat  with  marked  consideration, 
various  persons  for  whose  conduct  and  character  he 
had  expressed  disapprobation  during  his  entire 
life.  He  had  manifested  infinite  respect  for  reli- 
gion and  a  sincere  attachment  to  the  church.  He 
became  an  open  blasphemer,  ostentatiously  proclaim- 
ing his  disbelief,  and  bitterly  denouncing  minis- 
ters of  the  gospel  and  all  who  professed  a  respect 
for  them.     He  had  been  distinguished  for  the  dig- 


nity  of  liis  bearing,  the  modesty  of  his  deportment, 
the  elegance  of  his  dress  and  the  refinement  of 
his  language.  He  grew  familiar,  demonstrative 
and  slovenly,  while  his  conversation  assumed  a 
tone  of  positive  vulgarity — coarse  oaths  and  low 
slang  constituting  its  essential  elements.  For  the 
house  which  his  father  had  built,  under  whose  roof 
he  had  been  born  and  reared^  and  in  whose  cham- 
bers his  sisters  had  lived  and  died,  he  had  ever  ex- 
hibited a  marked  veneration .  He  made  it  the  home  of  a 
promiscuous  hospitality,  and  the  rendezvous  of  sub- 
ordinates and  inferiors.  Apartments  which  had 
been  hallowed  in  his  eyes  by  their  associations  with 
those  whom  he  honored  and  loved,  and  which  had 
been  studiously  closed  for  years,  were  thrown  open 
to  hirelings  and  overseers  ;  heirlooms  which  had 
been  guarded  with  scrupulous  vigilance  were  lav- 
ished upon  the  "  poor  trash"  which  ministered  to 
his  prejudices ;  family  jewels  which  had  been 
treasured  with  the  fondest  love  and  the  greatest 
sacredness  were  distributed  among  his  newly-chosen 
favorites  ;  and  a  table  which  had  been  honored  by 
the  presence  of  governors,  senators,  judges,  bish- 
ops, professors,  ministers,  and  others  of  pure  blood 
or  good  breeding  or  high  position — the  representa- 
tives of  the  family  or  its  friends  and  associates — 
was  daily  prostituted  to  the  entertainment  of  negro 
drivers,  tenants  of  the  dependent  farms,  employes 
about  the  premises,  loafers  from  the  adjacent  town, 
and  the  canaille  of  the  neighborhood  in  general — 
neither  washed  hands  nor  shodden  feet  nor  clean 
shirts  nor  coats  of  any  description  being  de  rig- 
ueur.  In  a  word,  during  the  remainder  of  his  days 
the  change  in  his  ideas,  habits,  feelings  and  senti- 
ments was  as  radical  as  the  motive  which  he  gave 
for  his  aversion  to  his  relatives  was  groundless, 
insufficient  and  absurd. 

224  A  doctor's  experiences 

He  died  in  1865,  and  by  his  will  lie  bequeathed 
his  property  principally  to  three  persons,  not  one 
of  whom  was  allied  to  him  by  the  ties  of  blood  or 
had  the  slightest  claim  upon  his  sentiments  of 
gratitude  or  his  sense  of  obligation. 

Though  we  were  impoverished  hj  the  war,  and 
but  the  representatives  of  prestige  and  tradition, 
while  our  adversaries  had  already  been  made  rich 
by  his  bounty,  we  determined  to  contest  the  will  at 
all  hazards  and  at  any  sacrifice. 

The  trial  came  off  in  the  winter  of  1866,  and  it 
proved  one  of  the  most  interesting  and  exciting 
that  had  ever  occurred  in  Carolina.  The  family 
was  represented  by  Graham,  Bragg,  Vance,  Hin- 
ton,  and  W.  A.  Moore,  and  the  legatees  by  B.  F. 
Moore,  Poole,  Heathy  and  Winston,  all  men  of 
great  ability,  learning,  and  experience,  and  from 
what  I  have  learned — for  I  was  not  present — it  was 
veritably  a  warfare  of  giants. 

It  was  incontestably  established  that  Mr.  John- 
stone had  for  many  years  been  subject  to  fits  of 
positive  mania,  which  had  become  more  frequent 
and  prolonged  with  his  advancing  age  ;  that  he 
had  twice  tried  to  take  his  own  life,  had  once  at- 
tempted to  commit  murder  ;  that  he  had  repeatedly 
been  found  wandering  about  the  plantation  without 
shoes,  and  clothed  onh^  in  his  shirt  ;  that  imme- 
diately preceding  the  making  of  Ms  will,  and 
afterward,  there  had  appeared  a  complete  revolu- 
tion in  his  feelings,  tastes,  habits,  and  ideas,  and 
that  the  motive  upon  which  his  conduct  to  his  rela- 
tives was  based — their  alleged  desertion  of  him  on 
the  breaking  out  of  the  war — was  absolutely  false 
and  fallacious,  such  as  could  not  have  been  accepted 
as  an  incentive  to  action  by  a  ''  sound  and  dispos- 
ing mind." 

As  regards  this  great  question  of  motive,  I  must 


pause  to  tell  you  that  it  was  proved  beyond  perad- 
venture  that  his  relatives  did  not  desert  him,  but 
remained  with  him  until  he  requested  or  forced 
them  to  leave  ;  that  they  did  not  neglect  him  in 
any  sense  or  to  the  slightest  extent,  inasmuch  as 
■James  Johnstone  and  his  wife  nursed  him  and  min- 
istered to  him  to  the  fullest  extent  of  human  capa- 
bility so  long  as  he  permitted  them  to  do  so  ;  that 
my  wife  had  only  just  offered  him  an  asylum  un- 
der my  roof,  which  he  had  gratefully  accepted  ;  that 
they  were  not  secessionists,  for  James  continued  an 
unflinching  Union  man  during  the  war,  while  the 
•others  were  originally  Whigs,  and  only  entered 
the  Confederate  service  after  the  issue  had  been 
made,  and  to  avert  the  very  calamities  which  Mr. 
Johnstone  apprehended. 

Dr.  William  A.  Hammond,  the  learned  alienist, 
was  present  at  the  trial,  and  after  having  heard 
the  evidence  declared  that  the  wilj  was  not  the  off- 
spring of  that  union  of  intelligence  and  volition  which 
•constitutes  sanity,  but  was  the  progeny  of  a  veritable 
monomania  which  had  its  origin  in  a  delusion,  and 
was  a  phase  of  insanity  of  the  most  palpable  and 
decided  character. 

And  yet,  strange  to  relate,  the  verdict  was  un- 
favorable to  us,  and  its  record  was  permitted  though 
it  was  manifestly  against  the  evidence,  and  it  con- 
signed to  ruin  and  dependence  those  who  were 
bound  to  him  by  ties  of  blood  and  of  a  life-long 
friendship,  and  elevated  to  wealth  and  position  three 
persons  who  were  not  connected  with  him,  and  who 
had  no  claims  upon  his  bounty. 

Independent  of  the  pecuniary  injury  which  this 
judgment  entailed  upon  the  rector's  family,  the 
moral  effect  was  overwhelming.  They  had  been 
reared  to  regard  Hayes  with  peculiar  pride  and  af- 
fection— to  love  it  as  the  home  of  their  ancestors 

226  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  the  scene  of  the  happiest  memories  of  their 
chiklhood — and  when  they  saw  it  adjudged  to- 
strangers,  and  its  treasures  of  family-  plate  and 
pictures  and  heirlooms  surrendered  to  alien  hands,, 
their  hearts  were  rifted  to  the  core,  and  turning 
their  faces  toward  distant  lands,  they  left  the  final 
judgment  to  Him  whom  their  father  had  taught 
them  to  trust  as  a  God  of  eternal  truth  and  of 
never-failing  justice. 

As  the  principal  actors  in  this  drama  have  long 
since  been  judged  by  the  highest  of  tribunals — for 
two  of  the  three  legatees  soon  followed  their  bene- 
factor to  the  grave — and  as  I  do  not  wish  to  rake 
up  unnecessarily  the  ashes  of  the  past,  I  shall  in- 
dulge in  no  harsh  criticism  of  their  conduct,  but^ 
in  view  of  the  poverty  and  the  suffering  entailed 
upon  those  who  are  dear  to  me,  I  could  not  feel 
kindly  toward  them  if  my  soul  were  the  forfeit. 
Save  for  a  few  months  immediately  after  the  war, 
when  everything  was  swept  away^  and  those  with 
whom  my  lot  was  cast  had  naught  but  sympathy 
to  give  me,  my  ow^n  family  has  never  realized  that 
they  had  missed  the  fortune  which  was  so  right- 
fully theirs.  But  there  are  others  of  my  connec- 
tion and  of  my  blood  upon  whom  this  blow  fell 
with  the  blighting  and  crushing  impetus  of  the 
lio;htnin2:'s  flash. 

In  an  obscure  county  m  Texas,  oppressed  by  the 
burden  of  a  dependent  family,  fettered  by  the  mis- 
fortune of  delicate  health,  and  crippled  by  the  want 
of  early  training  in  manual  labor,  there  exists  a 
prematurely  old  man,  striving  to  gain  a  living  for 
those  who  are  dear  to  him  by  the  sweat  of  his  brow 
in  the  cultivation  of  the  soil.  Were  justice  done 
him  his  name  would  be  recorded  to-day  on  the  rolls 
of  the  Peers  of  the  United  Kingdom,  and  he  would 
return    o  the  old  house  at   Hayes  as  its   honored 


master  and  the  rightful  owner  of  the  broad  acres 
which  surround  it,  while  his  wife  and  daughters 
woukl  resume  that  position  in  society  for  which 
their  birth,  their  beauty  and  their  virtues  so  pre- 
eminently fit  them. 

Sorrow  and  suffering  have  no  depths  which  he 
and  those  dependent  upon  him  have  not  fathomed 
since  that  day,  when  without  provocation  on  his 
part  or  warning  from  his  insane  relative,  he  was 
ruthlessly  banished  from  the  home  of  his  ancestors, 
and  left  to  fight  the  battle  of  life  single-handed, 
penniless,  having  no  profession  to  fall  back  upon, 
and  with  a  family  of  little  ones  pulling  at  his  heart- 
strings. You  cannot  wonder,  therefore^  if  my 
heart  is  incapable  of  wearing  a  mantle  of  charity 
broad  enough  to  embrace  the  parties  who,  at  any 
rate,  profited  by  that  which  brought  destruction  to 
the  interests  and  disaster  to  the  lives  of  those  who  are 
near  and  dear  to  me.  It  was  in  connection  with  the 
contention  over  this  estate  that  I  first  saw  the  true 
inwardness  of  human  nature — that  I  received  my  ear- 
liest and  hardest  lesson  respeeting  the  ingratitude 
and  treachery  of  mankind.  As  the  son  of  the 
leading  physician  of  the  place,  the  husband  of  its 
handsomest  and  supposedly  richest  woman,  the 
Surgeon-General  of  the  State,  and  the  confidential 
friend  of  the  Governor,  my  visits  to  Edenton  had 
been  veritable  ovations  ;  and  I  had  flattered  myself 
that  I  had  not  an  enemy  among  its  inhabitants, 
but  that  each  was  a  friend  upon  whom  I  could  rely 
for  his  money  or  his  blood.  No  sooner  had  the 
will  been  read  when  I  made  the  discovery,  that  in 
the  day  of  adversity  human  friendship  fades  as  the 
flowers  wither  beneath  the  blight  of  the  early  frost. 
I  found  that  the  legatees  were  the  heroes  of  the  hour, 
while  we  had  scarcely  a  corporal's  guard  of  friends 
and  followers  ;  and  it  was  then,  as  I  have  already 

228  A  doctor's  experiences 

told  you,  that  the  poor  negroes  rallied  so  kiadly 
around  us.  and  by  their  manifestations  of  sympathy 
•and  their  tokens  of  good  will  soothed  our  lacerated 
hearts  and  filled  them  with  undying  thankfulness. 

I  recall  J  especially,  the  conduct  of  an  individual 
whose  real  name  I  shall  supress  for  his  children's 
sake.  He.  was  invariably  called  ''the  Colonel'* 
away  from  home  and  "Mr.  D.  F."  in  Edenton, 
where  he  was  better  known  and  estimated.  He 
acquired  this  cognomen  because  of  a  circumstance 
to  which  I  was  a  witness.  There  lived  in  that  part 
of  the  country  a  Portugese,  named  Olivera,  who 
manifested  many  eccentricities  of  character,  and 
whose  English  was  simply  incomprehensible.  He 
was,  withal,  sharp-witted,  high-tempered,  and  al- 
ways ready  to  strike  back,  usually  getting  the  bet- 
ter of  every  controversy.  When  aroused,  with  his 
flashing  eyes,  his  arching  brows,  his  blazing  cheeks, 
and  his  diminutive  but  martial  figure,  he  was  as 
^'  good  as  a  circus"  to  look  at — from  a  distance. 

The  "Colonel,"  or  "Mr.  D.  F.,"  as  he  has  ever 
<since  been  called,  was  a  remarkable  specimen  of 
humanity.  For  selling  goods  and  raising  early 
vegetables  nature  had  qualified  him  admirably,  but 
there  she  had  drawn  a  line  of  demarcation  and  had 
remorselessly  left  him  to  the  solitude  of  these  ex- 
clusive talents.  He  did  not  begin  though  to  realize 
the  situation,  and  aspired  to  the  reputation  of  a 
savant  in  every  department  of  knowledge  as  well 
as  to  the  role  of  an  intime  with  all  persons  of  posi- 
tion. He  would  have  joined  issue  with  St.  Augus- 
tin  on  theology,  or  with  ^sculapius  on  medicine, 
or  with  Newton  on  science,  or  with  Hoyle  on  whist, 
or  with  d'Orsay  on  fashion,  or  with  any  one  on  any 
subject,  and  believed  that  he  had  given  each  a 
lesson  in  his  specialty.  He  affected  to  have  private 
sources  of  information  in  resrard  to  all  matters  of 

IN    THREE    CONTmENTS.  229 

public  interest  and  to  know  the  secret  history  of 
every  man  discussed  or  circumstance  referred  to. 
No  person  of  note  could  he  mentioned,  but  he  as- 
sumed to  be  his  special  friend  and  confidant,  and 
his  imaginary  correspondence  with  heads  of  depart- 
ments, commanding  generals,  leading  statesmen, 
etc.,  would  have  filled  volumes.  With  all,  he  was, 
the  vainest  and  the  most  touchy  of  men,  and  to 
ridicule  him  or  to  disparage  him  or  turn  the  laugh 
on  him  was  to  make  him  an  enemy  for  life. 
Obstinacy  was  also  a  leading  trait  in  his  character, 
and  he  adhered  to  his  statements  with  a  tenacity 
such  as  only  supreme  ignorance  combined  with 
consummate  egotism  could  have  engendered. 

So  much  for  the  dramatis  personce  of  my  story. 
One  day  he  was  standing  on  his  door-step — the 
stage  upon  which  he  usually  played  his  role  of  Sir 
Oracle — engaged  in  his  favorite  pastime  of  discuss- 
ing some  subject  about  which  he  knew  nothing, 
when  old  Olivera  was  seen  coming  down  the  street 
smoking  his  short  pipe,  and  talking  to  himself  as 
was  his  wont.  ^''  Here  comes  Olivera,"  exclaimed 
the  "  Colonel."  "  Look  out  now  for  some  fun.  I 
shall  quiz  him  a  little  and  make  him  show  what  a 
fool  he  is." 

"  All  right,"  cried  the  crowds  as  the  old  fellow 
approached,  touched  his  cap  politely  and  walked  on. 

"  Stop  a  moment,  sir,  and  let  me  pass  the  com- 
pliments of  the  day,"  said  the  ''Colonel,"  and,  as 
Olivera  obeyed  and  turned  to  him  inquiringly,  he 
added,  "Good  morning,  Mr.  Portuguese." 

Olivera  drew  himself  up,  took  off  his  cap,  and 
bowing  low,  answered,  "  Good  morning  to  ye, 
Mister  Damme  Foole,"  with  an  emphasis  of  con- 
tempt such  as  I  never  heard  concentrated  in  human 
language.  The  ''Colonel"  was  completely  taken 
aback,  and,  with  an  expression  of  mingled  amaze- 

230  A  doctor's  experiences 

raent  and  humiliation,  stammered  out  something 
unintelligible  and  then  beat  a  precipitate  retreat 
into  the  back  room  of  his  store,  from  which  he  only 
ventured  out  to  wait  on  his  customers  and  to  seek 
his  meals  for  weeks  afterward.  The  idea  that  any 
one  should  presume  to  address  an  insulting  epithet 
to  him  was  more  than  he  could  stand,  and  he 
nursed  his  wrath  for  many  a  long  day  over  it. 
Ever  afterward  he  was  spoken  of  as  "  Mr.  D.  F.," 
to  his  supreme  disgust  and  indignation.  As  I 
have  already  indicated,  his  conduct  in  connection 
with  the  contest  over  the  will  was  provoking,  to 
say  the  least  of  it,  though  he  paid  dearly  enough 
for  his  treason  in  the  end.  He  had  always  pre- 
tended to  be  9,  devoted  friend  of  the  rector's  family, 
and  that  profession  had  been  the  source  to  him  of  a 
^'  mint  of  money  "  in  the  way  of  business  ;  but  so 
soon  as  the  will  was  produced  he  became  an  open 
enemy  and  posed  as  the  particular  friend  and  con- 
fidant of  Mr.  Johnstone — who,  to  my  certain 
knowledge,  had  always  regarded  him  with  positive 
disdain  and  aversion.  He  essayed  to  play  the  role 
of  a  ''willing  witness"  at  the  trial,  pretending  to 
relate  conversations  previous  to  the  war  in  which 
Mr.  Johnstone  had  unkindly  criticised  the  rector 
and  his  family  ;  but  he  soon  had  reason  to  wish 
himself  hidden  beneath  his  counter  or  buried  in 
his  cabbage  beds  or  drowned  in  his  rain-gage. 
Governor  Bragg,  with  that  ingenuity  and  power 
of  satire  of  which  he  was  so  specially  a  master, 
''went  for  him"  in  a  way  which  utterly  confused 
and  annihilated  him.  The  terrible  castigation 
which  he  received  on  that  occasion  completely 
broke  him  down,  and  he  died  a  few  years  after- 
ward, leaving  a  void  which  is  still  esteemed  a 
blessing  by  others  besides  old  Olivera,  the  sponsor 

IN   THREE  'continents.  231 

who  gave  him  the  name  which  he  carried  with  him 
to  his  grave. 

If  condign  punishment  had  been  meted  out  to  all 
who  went  back  on  their  old  friends,  the  village 
parson  and  the  family  doctor,  in  those  days  of  ad- 
versity, the  work  of  final  retribution  would  be  ma- 
terially lightened,  and  the  devil  cheated  out  of 
many  a  victim  for  whom  he  has  reserved  a  warm 
reception  in  the  great  hereafter. 

Que  pensez  vous,  mon  ami  f 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

We  took  up  our  residence  at  Albania,  as  I  have 
already  told  you.  This  plantation  contained  over 
six  hundred  acres,  and  though  it  was  not  adapted 
to  the  growth  of  corn  and  cotton — as  a  somewhat 
costly  experience  demonstrated — it  produced  fruit 
and  vegetables  abundantly.  After  that  discovery  I 
converted  it  into  a  regular  ''  truck  farm/'  and  thus 
became  the  j^ioneer  in  a  business  which  has  since  re- 
deemed that  section  and  made  it  one  of  the  richest 
in  North  Carolina. 

Notwithstanding  my  professional  engagements! 
found  time  to  amuse  myself  with  the  occupations 
incident  to  country  life,  and  some  of  the  pleasant- 
est  moments  of  my  existence  were  spent  among  the 
grape  vines  and  potato  rows  at  Albania.  At  any 
rate  the  dream  of  my  life  has  ever  since  been  to  sink 
the  shop  at  the  first  convenient  moment  and  to  retire 
in  blissful  ease  and  undisturbed  repose  suh  tegmine 
fagi  for  the  remainder  of  my  days. 

The  house  was  beautiful  in  appearance  and  com- 
plete in  arrangements,  and  we  furnished  it  from 
cellar  to  attic  according  to  our  own  tastes ;  the 
grounds  had  been  laid  out  with  great  skill  and  we 
adorned  them  with  shade  trees,  parterres  of  flow- 
ers and  hedges  of  shrubbery  ;  the  old  bridge  span- 
ning  the  little  stream  which  separated  the  place 
from  the  town  limits  was  pulled  down  and  a  grace- 


ful  structure  erected  in  its  stead  ;  the  orchard  wa& 
trimmed  J  culled,  and  planted  with  every  variety  of 
fruit  trees ;  the  garden  was  reclaimed  from  the 
rank  weeds  which  overran  it,  laid  out  in  appro- 
priate beds,  and  sown  with  the  choicest  vegetables ; 
and  in  fact  nothing  was  left  undone  to  render  our 
home  comfortable,  beautiful  and  attractive — to  make 
it  a  source  of  pride  and  satisfaction  to  ourselves^ 
and,  as  we  hoped,  to  our  children.  But  it  soon 
became  apparent  that  amid  the  trees  and  flowers 
and  shrubs  that  we  loved  so  well  there  lurked  the 
seeds  of  a  miasm  which  was  undermining  the 
health  of  her  who  was  its  chief  ornament  and  at- 
traction. My  beloved  wife  grew  ill  there,  the 
roses  faded  from  her  cheeks  and  the  yellow  tint  of 
malarial  poisoning  took  their  places,  and  I  realized 
the  painful  fact  that  the  home  which  we  loved  so 
well  must  be  abandoned  or  that  she  would  die.  It  was 
in  vain  that  she  sought  the  recuperating  breezes  of 
the  seashore  and  the  invigorating  air  of  the  moun- 
tains ;  her  return  to  Albania  was  always  attended 
by  fresh  sickness  and  renewed  suffering.  The 
birth  of  a  babe  brought  infinite  joy  to  our  hearts, 
but  no  renewal  of  health  to  the  fading  mother, 
while  the  child  seemed  to  languish  from  its  first 
breath.  At  this  juncture,  while  in  a  state  of  anx- 
ious solicitude  for  the  two  beings  upon  whom  my 
heart's  idolatry  was  concentrated,  and  uncertain 
what  to  do  for  their  relief,  a  kind  Providence  seemed 
to  open  the  way  to  a  solution  of  the  difficulty.  A 
death  occurred  in  the  faculty  of  the  University  of 
Maryland,  and  I  eagerly  entered  the  list  as  a  can- 
didate for  the  vacant  professorship,  thinking  that 
success  would  secure  a  commanding  position  and  a 
pleasant  residence  in  the  city  of  Baltimore,  where 
I  hoped  long  lives  of  health  and  happiness  were 
reserved  for  me  and  mine.     I  was  successful,  and 

'234  A  doctor's  experiences 

my  beautiful  home  was  sold  as  a  preliminary  to  my 
dej)arture  from  Carolina.  How  my  brain  reels  and 
my  heart  aches  as  I  write  these  words !  I  loved 
Albania,  for  it  was  there  that  I  had  realized  the 
blissful  sense  of  possessing  a  home  of  my  own; 
there  that  the  halcyon  days  of  my  existence  were 
passed  in  sweet  communion  with  a  kindred  spirit ; 
there  that  -my  first-born  first  beheld  the  light  of 
heaven  and  of  her  mother's  loving  eyes,  and  I  felt 
as  I  subscribed  to  the  deed  which  made  it  another's 
as  if  I  were  signing  away  my  happiness  and  my 
life.  I  would  rather  have  lived  there  in  rags  and 
wretchedness  than  in  the  palace  of  the  Tuileries  in 
the  meridian  of  its  splendor,  and  nothing  of  grand- 
eur and  of  glory  that  the  heart  can  conceive  of 
could  have  induced  me  to  part  with  it  had  I  not 
believed  its  surrender  essential  to  the  safety  of  my 
wife  and  child.  The  gloom  w^hich  then  oppressed 
me  proved  a  veritable  prognostication  of  evil — one 
of  those  strange  presages  of  disaster  which  some- 
times flash  through  the  mind  and  fill  it  with 
dread  in  spite  of  reason  and  philosophj^  ;  for 
in  less  than  a  year  from  the  day  on  which  that 
fatal  document  was  signed,  sealed  and  delivered, 
the  storm  of  war  had  burst  upon  the  country,  bring- 
ing with  it  the  dissipation  of  my  plans  and  the 
ruin  of  my  hopes,  and  making  me  a  wanderer  upon 
the  earth,  without  a  home  or  a  refuge  that  I  could 
call  my  own. 

I.  sold  the  estate  to  John  A.  Benbury,  taking 
neither  a  lien  upon  it  nor  security  of  any  kind  for 
it,  and  accepting  his  ^'promissory  notes"  for  a 
great  portion  of  the  purchase  money.  He  was  a 
good  man.  and  an  honest  one,  and  all  would  have 
been  well  but  for  the  ''  cruel  war,"  which  num- 
bered him  among  its  victims  and  left  me  penniless. 

At  the  battle  of  Gaines'    Mills,  while  gallantly 


leading  bis  company — the  ^^ Albemarle  Guards" — 
wbich  I  bad  organized  during  tbe  Jobn  Brown  ex- 
citement, be  was  struck  by  a  conical  ball,  wbich 
entered  bis  '^  pocket-book"  and  divided  itself  into 
halves — one  remaining  in  situ,  tbe  other  glancing 
upward  through  tbe  bladder,  and  producing  a 
wound  from  which  be  died  a  few  days  afterward.  I 
stood  by  bis  bedside  as  bis  brave  spirit  took  its 
flight  with  a  heart  overflowing  with  the  memories 
of  our  boyhood,  and  eyes  sufl'used  with  tears  of  re- 
gret for  bis  loss,  little  thinking  at  the  time  that 
tbe  missile  wbich  carried  death  to  him  and  despair 
to  bis  loving  wife  was  freighted  also  with  disaster 
to  me  and  mine. 

It  turned  out  afterward  that  nothing  remained 
of  bis  estate  save  Albania,  and  bis  wife  claiming 
the  "right  of  dower"  upon  it,  I  was  compelled  to 
sell  tbe  "^  promissory  notes  for  what  they  would 
bring — which  was  a  mere  song— and  I  thus  lost 
my  beloved  home  and  a  greater  portion  of  the  so- 
called  purchase-money.  Hard  lines,  were  they  not, 
my  friend? 

It  was  during  tbe  period  of  my  residence  at  Al- 
bania that  tbe  country  w^as  startled  by  the  intelli- 
gence of  tbe  John  Brown  escapade  at  Harper's 
Ferry,  Virginia.  It  produced  a  profound  sensation 
throughout  tbe  South,  for  it  was  recognized  as  tbe 
first  blast  from  the  war  cloud  which  overshadowed 
tbe  country.  The  organization  of  military  com- 
panies became  the  order  of  the  day,  and  tbe  citizens 
of  Edenton  were  not  behind-hand  in  the  work.  At 
a  meeting  called  for  this  purpose,  more  than  a 
bundred  recruits  were  immediately  enrolled,  tbe 
name  of  "tbe  Albemarle  Guards"  was  selected 
for  tbe  organization,  and,  somewhat  to  my  surprise 
for  I  bad  no  military  training,  I  was  elected  its 
captain  by  an  overwhelming  majority.     I  devoted 

236  A  doctor's  experiences 

my  self  J  however,  with  great  assiduity  to  the  work^ 
and  was  soon  gratified  by  having  under  my  com- 
mand a  fully  equi}3ped  and  a  thoroughly  drilled 
company.  Although  m\'  connection  with  it  was 
happily  of  brief  duration,  as  I  removed  to  Baltimore 
a  short  time  afterward,  it  was  long  enough  to  in- 
volve me  in  an  adventure  which  came  near  termi- 
nating my  life  and  that  of  another  person.  We 
had  taken  possession  of  a  large  wharf,  and  were 
engaged  in  target  practice,  when  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Mitchell — a  noted  bear-hunter  and  a  very 
desperate  character  when  under  the  influence  of 
drink — assaulted  the  guard  and  attempted  to  break 
through  the  lines  for  the  purpose  of  reaching  a 
boat  that  was  moored  beyond  them.  Having  as- 
certained the  cause  of  the  difficulty,  I  ordered  the 
company  to  cease  firing  for  the  time  being,  while  I 
attempted  to  mollify  the  fellow  and  to  conduct  him 
quietly  to  his  boat,  so  as  to  get  him  out  of  harm's 
way  as  quickly  as  possible.  He  was  polite  enough 
to  me  as  w^e  walked  along,  but  he  refused  to  be  ap- 
peased so  far  as  the  guard  was  concerned,  and  con- 
tinued to  indulge  in  the  fiercest  oaths  and  threats 
against  them.  Having  reached  the  end  of  the 
wharf,  he  stepped  into  the  boat,  and,  turning  sud- 
denly, grappled  me  by  the  legs  and  attempted  to 
throw  me  over  him  into  the  water,  with  the  evi- 
dent purpose  of  committing  murder.  I  had  my 
drawn  sword  in  my  right  hand,  but  the  attack  was 
so  sudden  and  w^e  were  at  such  close  quarters  that 
1  could  not  use  it,  and  the  only  thing  I  managed  to 
do  was  to  throw  my  left  arm  around  his  neck  in 
such  a  way  that  we  came  down  into  the  boat  to- 
gether. Disengaging  myself  in  an  instant,  I  struck 
him  three  blows  over  the  head  with  my  sword,  and 
he  lay  bleeding  and  senseless  at  my  feet.  For  the 
moment  I  thought  I  had  killed  him,  and  spring- 

IN   THREE   CONTINENTS.       .  23^ 


ing  to  the  wharf  again  I  called  the  guard  and 
ordered  them  to  lift  him  carefully  out  of  the  boat, 
and  to  place  him  upon  the  ground — when  it  soon 
became  apparent  that  though  severely  wounded  he 
was  still  alive.  Having  played  the  role  militant^  I 
now  devoted  myself  to  the  role  professional,  and 
throwing  off  my  coat  and  staunching  the  blood  with 
handkerchiefs  saturated  with  cold  water,  I  sent  to 
my  office  for  the  necessary  appliances,  and  jjro- 
ceeded  to  dress  his  wounds  secundum  art  em. 

Before  I  had  completed  my  work  consciousness 
returned,  and  with  it  sobriety,  and  his  professions 
of  penitence  and  regret  were  overwhelming,  but 
not  so  sincere  in  my  judgment  as  I  should  have 
liked  considering  his  desperate  character  and  the 
fact  that  my  professional  duties  called  me  to  his 
neighborhood  at  all  hours  of  the  day  and  night. 
.The  amusing  feature  of  the  affair  was  his  lamenta- 
tions over  a  "brand  new  set  of  crockery,"  as  he  de- 
scribed it,  which  he  had  expressly  come  to  town 
"to  purchase  for  the  old  woman,"  and  had  been 
broken  in  the  melee,  as  it  was  in  the  bottom  of  the 
boat.  In  the  amiability  of  mind  which  my  own 
escape  and  his  return  to  consciousness  inspired,  I 
sent  to  the  nearest  store  and  had  another  set  pur- 
chased for  him  ;  and  he  sailed  off  with  a  bandaged 
head  and  a  replenished  cargo  amid  the  huzzas  of 
the  entire  company. 

This  was  the  only  incident  of  moment  that  oc- 
curred while  I  commanded  the  company,  but  it  was 
decimated  afterward.  It  left  Edenton  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  war  more  than  a  hundred  strong,  and 
having  participated  in  every  battle  in  which  Gen- 
eral Lee's  army  was  concerned,  it  returned  after 
the  surrender  with  only  ten  men  on  its  muster  list. 

I  did  not  see  Mitchell  again  for  several  weeks, 
when  our  meeting  was  of  a  peculiar  and  exciting 

238  A  doctor's  experiences 

character.  I  was  induced  by  some  friends  to  go  with 
them  on  a  '  'deer  hunt, ' '  and  was  placed  at  a  stand  in 
the  midst  of  a  pocoson  at  least  a  mile  distant  from 
any  other  person.  After  waiting  patiently  for  nearly 
an  hour  I  left  the  stand  and  started  homeward, 
when  I  was  startled  by^the  approach  of  footsteps, 
and  peering  beneath  the  undergrowth,  I  saw 
Mitchell  making  his  was  stealthily  through  the 
swamp  and  coming  directly  toward  me.  My  blood 
curdled^  but  I  prepared  to  defend  my  life,  as  I  had 
heard  ol  his  threat  to  ''get  even  with  Dr.  Warren 
before  the  end  of  the  year,"  and  I  knew  that  I  had 
a  desperado  to  deal  with.  Concealing  myself  un- 
til he  was  not  more  than  twenty  feet  distant,  I 
startled  him  by  suddenly  crying  out :  ''Halt,"  and 
pointing  my  cocked  gun  at  his  head,  said:  "Put 
down  that  gun,  and  your  box  of  caps  with  it,  or  I 
shall  blow  your  brains  out."  He  was  taken  utterly 
aback,  and  as  his  gun  was  uncocked  and  on  his 
shoulder  he  realized  that  I  had  the  advantage  of 
him  and  obeyed  in  an  instant. 

"Now,"  said  I,  "turn  around  and  go  home. 
Your  gun  is  safe  where  it  is  and  you  can  return  and 
get  it  to-morrow." 

"The  devil  you  say.  Doctor;  and  what  do  you 
want  with  my  box  of  caps  ?  And  why  do  you 
treat  me  in  this  way,  any  how  ?  I  would  not  hurt 
a  hair  of  your  head  for  Dr.  Tom's  plantation." 

"Oh!  that  is  all  very  well.  Talk  is  cheap, 
you  know.  I  befriended  you  and  you  tried  to 
drown  me.  I  dressed  your  wounds  and  gave  you  a 
new  set  of  crockery,  and  you  told  Elisha  Smith 
that  you  would  "get  even  with  me"  before  the 
year  was  out.  I  am  going  to  destroy  your  caps  so 
that  you  can't  sneak  back  here  to  get  your  gun  and 
shoot  me  before  I  am  out  of  this  pocoson." 

But,    Doctor,   them   caps  cost   a   quarter.      I 



bought  them  at  oh:l  Billy  Badham's  last  night,  and 
he  would  not  trust  me  for  them,  neither.  I  really 
can't  afford  to  lose  them." 

"As  to  that,  you  shan't  lose  them.  I  will  tell 
Mr.  Badham  to  let  you  have  two  boxes  on  my  ac- 

"  Well,  that  is  talking  sense,  and  you  are  a 
gentleman,  any  way.  Do  you  think  I  would  shoot 
you?  I  am  the  best  friend  you  and  the  old  man 
have  in  Cowpenneck." 

''  I  would  not  trust  you,  Mitchell,  if  you  thought 
you  had  a  fair  chance  at  me,  as  you  supposed  to-day. 
What  did  you  come  into  the  swamp  for,  and  why 
did  you  hunt  me  up  ?  But  it  is  useless  to  talk 
further  on  this  subject.  My  finger  is  getting 
rather  stiff  from  pressing  so  long  on  this  trigger, 
and  I  may  send  you  to  "kingdom  come'  before  I 
know  it.  So  now  be  off  at  once."  And  he  went 
off  in  a  hurry,  while  I^  having  first  taken  the  pre- 
caution to  discharge  his  gun  and  to  throw  his  caps 
in  the  mud,  followed  after  him  until  I  reached  the 
high  road  and  rejoined  my  friends,  feeling  more 
comfortably  than  I  had  done  for  the  preceding  half 
hour.  I  am  convinced  that  he  sought  me  with  the  de- 
liberate purpose  of  taking  my  life,  and  that  nothing 
saved  me  but  the  fact  that  I  had  changed  my  po- 
sition and  took  time  by  the  forelock  when  he  made 
his  appearance.  How  the  matter  might  have  re- 
sulted had  not  a  kind  providence  afHicted  him  with 
pneumonia  a  short  time  afterward,  and  made  me 
the  instrument  by  which  his  life  was  saved  and  his 
resentment  appeased,  it  is  impossible  to  say  with 
accuracy  ;  but  I  am  strongly  inclined  to  the  belief 
that  on  some  dark  night,  while  driving  alone  in  his 
neighborhood,  I  should  have  fallen  by  the  wayside 
before  the  great  bear  hunter's  unerring  shot-gun. 

Durinsf  the  summer  which  succeeded  mv  election 

240  A  doctor's  experiences 

to  tlie  chair  of  materia  medica  and  therapeutics  in. 
the  University  of  Maryland,  I  carried  my  family  to 
the  Virginia  Springs,  visiting  the  most  not-ed  of 
them,  making  many  pleasant  acquaintances,  and 
having  on  the  whole  a  very  delightful  time. 

The  White  Sulphur  especially  was  crowded  with 
visitors,  embracing  many  leading  politicians  from 
the  Southern  States,  while  the  great  topic  of  con- 
versation was  the  anticipated  war  between  the  sec- 
tions— it  being  generall}^  believed  that  the  Korth 
would  be  ignominiously  beaten  within  thirty  days 
from  the  commencement  of  hostilities.  So  much 
for  human  foresight  and  for  political  sagacity  in 

I  stopped  for  a  few  days  at  the  Sweet  Chalybeate, 
the  waters  of  which  contained  iron  in  abundance, 
and  have  great  reputation  in  cases  of  anaemia. 
There  I  met  with  a  strange  old  man,  who  though 
a  Jew  by  birth  and  a  gambler  by  profession,  proved 
one  of  the  truest  friends  that  1  have  ever  been 
blessed  with.  The  first  time  that  my  wife  and  I 
went  to  the  table  cVhote,  we  found  sitting  opposite 
to  us  a  man  with  long  gray  hair  and  flowing 
beard,  possessing  the  Hebrew  type  of  countenance 
in  a  marked  degree,  and  endowed  with  a  loquacity 
which  was  seemingly  limitless.  Talk  to  us  he 
would,  asking  every  possible  question,  and  giving  the 
fullest  details  concerning  his  own  personal  history, 
but  taking  especial  care  not  to  be  impolite  or  offensive. 
He  struck  me  as  a  garrulous  veillard  vf\i\\  a  morbid 
curiosity  and  great  simplicity  of  character,  though 
subsequent  experience  showed  that  there  was  more 
in  him  than  appearances  indicated.  We  treated 
him  politely  and  answ^ered  his  questions  frankly, 
but  I  made  it  a  point  to  request  the  manager  to 
move  our  seats,  thinking  in  that  way  to  get  rid  of 
our  inquisitive  friend.      But  that  plan  was  unsuc- 


cessfal.  So  soon  as  he  discovered  our  locality  he 
again  took  a  seat  opposite  to  us,  remarking  as  he 
did  so,  ''  Don't  think  me  rude,  hut  I  have  taken  a 
fancy  to  you  folks  and  have  followed  you  up,  you 
see."  It  thus  became  impossible  to  avoid  him 
without  making  an  issue,  and  as  he  was  harmless  and 
not  disposed  to  intrude  unduly  on  our  privacy,  we 
permitted  him  to  have  his  way  and  to  talk  to  us  at 
discretion.  It  turned  out  that  he  resided  in  Balti- 
more, was  the  brother  of  the  late  Captain  Levy,  U. 
S.  N.,  and  had,  during  the  greater  part  of  his  life, 
been  engaged  in  keeping  a  faro  bank,  by  means  of 
which  he  managed  to  live — as  he  was  what  the 
gamblers  call  a  "  square  player."  Indeed,  as  dis- 
reputable as  was  his  occupation,  he  was  strictly 
honest«and  honorable,  and  nothing  could  have  in- 
duced him  to  take  any  advantage  beyond  that 
which  '' the  game  allows."  He  had  seen  a  great 
deal  of  life,  and  though  as  simple  as  a  child  him- 
self, he  knew  human  nature  ah  ovo  usque  ad  mala, 
and  was  one  of  the  best  judges  of  men  that  I  ever 
saw.  I  took  daily  walks  with  him,  and  was  greatly 
entertained  by  the  stories  which  he  told  of  his  long 
and  curious  career,  and  the  questions  which  he 
asked  of  all  whom  he  encountered  in  regard  to 
everything  upon  the  face  of  the  earth.  And  I 
finally  attended  him  in  an  attack  of  illness  of  some 
severity,  in  connection  with  which  he  believed  that 
I  had  saved  his  life  ;  he  became  my  devoted  friend 
for  the  remainder  of  his  days,  as  you  will  see  in  the 
course  of  this  narrative.  At  the  Healing  Springs, 
in  Bath  county,  I  met  Mr.  James  C.  Johnstone, 
and  was  detained  there  for  several  weeks  with 
him,  as  he  was  suffering  from  one  of  his  periodical 
attacks  of  ''nervousness,"  or,  in  other  words,  in- 
sanity. So  decidedly  suicidal  was  his  mania  and 
gO  violent  were  his  ravings  over  the  ''  unpardon- 

242  A  doctor's  expereexces 

able  sin  '"'  which  he  alleged  he  had  committed — 
his  constant  sobs,  shrieks  and  imprecations — that 
we  had  to  watch  him  with  ceaseless  vigilance  to 
prevent  him  from  taking  his  life  and  from  being 
overheard  by  those  around  him.  Indeed,  with  the 
latter  end  in  view,  we  rented  the  cottage  on  either 
side  of  his,  which  was  fortunately  somewhat  sep- 
arated from  the  rest — so  as  to  p)revent  them  from 
being  occupied  by  other  guests,  to  whom  his  con- 
dition would  necessarily  have  revealed  itself.  On 
some  days  he  had  lucid  intervals,  and  during  these 
he  invariably  implored  me  to  place  him  under  re- 
straint, saying  he  feared  that  he  might  do  some- 
thing desperate  either  with  himself  or  with  his 
property  in  the  excitement  of  his  nervous  attacks,  of 
the  true  nature  of  which  he  seemed  to  have  had  an 
idea,  as  he  frequently  remarked  that  insanity  was 
in  his  blood,  which  was  lamentably  true.  And 
yet,  strange  to  relate,  certain  parties  who  were 
witnesses  of  all  that  occurred  there,  and  who  daily 
discussed  with  me  the  question  of  conveying  him 
to  the  lunatic  asylum  at  Staunton,  testified  at  the 
trial  in  explicit  terms  that  they  had  ^'  never  seen 
aught  in  his  conduct  which  justified  a  doubt  as  ta 
his  sanity." 

It  is  true  that  they  were  remembered  in  the  will, 
but  I  believe  them  to  be  perfectly  honest  men ; 
and  I  have  never  been  able  to  understand  their 
testimony,  as  I  was  not  there  to  refresh  their 
memories  by  a  few  pertinent  questions  ;  such  for 
instance  as  :  Why  we  watched  him  together  so  vi- 
gilantly? Why  we  rented  the  contiguous  cottages? 
Why  we  discussed  the  question  of  conveying  him 
to  Staunton?  etc. 

My  father,  who  was  a  shrewd  observer,  always 
said  that  a  man  could  bring  himself  to  believe 
whatever  he  desired  to  believe  without  a  conscious 


compromise  of  integrity.  The  truth  of  this  idea 
was  certainly  illustrated  in  this  instance,  for  the 
parties  in  question  learned  to  forget  just  what  they 
desired  to  forget,  and  still  preserved  their  con- 
sciences intact,  as  I  am  thoroughly  convinced. 

It  was  during  my  sojourn  at  the  Healing  Springs 
and  amid  my  solitary  vigils  at  the  bedside  of  this 
wretched  lunatic  that  I  had  revealed  to  me  the  true 
nature  of  the  burden  which  had  so  long  weighed 
upon  his  soul,  and  given  significance  to  his  inter- 
minable ravings  respecting  the  "unpardonable 
sin"  about  which  he  raved  so  persistently. 

It  is  useless  to  go  into  particulars  now — though 
I  should  have  done  so  at  the  trial  in  the  interest  of 
truth  and  justice — since  he  has  been  judged  already 
at  that  bar  from  which  there  is  no  appeal,  but  I 
will  simply  say  that,  in  failing  to  make  the  resti- 
tution for  which  his  original  will  was  intended,  he 
committed  as  infamous  a  crime  as  ever  disgraced 
humanity,  if  in  the  possession  of  his  faculties  and 
really  responsible  for  his  acts.  In  a  word,  I  ascer- 
tained with  absolute  certainty  that  he  was  either 
a  madman  and  beyond  the  pale  of  all  moral  re- 
sponsibility, or  a  criminal,  and  deserving  of  one  of 
the  severest  penalties  known  to  the  law— a  punish- 
ment which  would  have  transmitted  his  name  in 
infamy  to  posterity. 

With  a  positive  knowledge  of  the  secret  history  of 
his  life,  I  can  and  I  do  throw  the  mantle  of  charity 
over  his  deeds  ;  and  I  implore  you  and  all  who  may 
read  these  pages  to  believe  with  me  that  the  con- 
duct of  his  later  days  was  the  result  and  the  ex]30- 
nent  of  positive  physical  disease,  of  a  cerebral  me- 
tamorphosis and  degeneration,  which  filled  his  mind 
with  delusions,  perverted  his  moral  sense  and  abro- 
gated his  free  agency  and  responsibility. 

But  "spilt  milk"  is  a   commodity    over    which 

244  •    A  doctor's  experiexces 

lamentations  have  long  since  been  voted  a  drug, 
and  I  will  let  this  matter  rest  where  a  facile  jury  has 
left  it,  with  the/emark  that  the  greatest  wrong  that 
can  he  done  to  the  memory  of  Mr.  Johnstone  is  to 
ascribe  to  him  reason  and  responsibility,  since 
such  an  assumption  places  him  in  the  position  of 
having  really  committed  the  ^'unpardonable  sin'' 
of  depriving  the  rector  and  his  family  of  property 
which  was  theirs  already  and  which  he  had  no  legal 
right  to  alienate. 

Justice  to  the  living  and  the  dead  constrains  me 
to  say  that  the  legatees  were  ignorant  of  the  fact 
to  which  I  allude,  and  that  the  only  jierson  who 
could  have  thrown  light  upon  it  drowned  herself  in 
the  adjacent  creek  during  an  attack  of  temporary 
insanity  induced  by  the  distress  which  her  knowl- 
edge of  it  had  occasioned. 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

It  was  a  serious  thing  to  go  to  a  great  city  and 
undertake  the  role  of  a  professor,  and  I  felt  the 
responsibility  of  my  position  most  acutely,  espe- 
cially as  my  success  in  obtaining  it  had  naturally 
excited  the  jealousy  of  my  competitors  and  their 

I  had  prepared  a  full  course  of  lectures  in  advance, 
and  I  thought  I  should  have  nothing  to  do  but  to 
read  them  in  an  impressive  manner.  In  this  I 
made  a  fearful  mistake,  as  I  soon  learned  to  my 
sorrow,  for  I  found  not  only  that  mere  didactic 
teaching  was  but  a  small  portion  of  the  labor  to 
which  I  stood  committed,  but  that  my  lectures  were 
not  at  all  adapted  to  the  purposes  for  which  they 
bad  been  prepared. 

The  medical  charge  of  the  hospital  attached  to 
the  college  was  at  once  assigned  me,  and  I  had  to 
visit  its  wards  daily,  followed  by  a  crowd  of  sharp- 
witted  students,  to  make  an  accurate  diagnosis,  to 
prescribe  appropriately,  and  to  explain  everything 
of  clinical  significance  in  each  case  that  presented 

Fortunately,  I  had  been  a  thorough  student  from 
the  day  of  my  defeat  in  the  ^sculapian  Society, 
and  my  experience  in  hospitals  abroad  and  at  the 
bedside  at  home  had  given  me  that  readiness  in 
interpreting  morbid  phenomena,  that  facility  in  the 


emj)loyment  of  remedies,  and  that  practical  knowl- 
edge of  disease  in  general  which  the  exigencies  of 
the  situation  so  peremptorily  demanded  ;  while  my 
fluency  of  speech — which,  I  am  sure,  you  will  not 
consider  me  egotistical  in  claiming — assured  my 
success  as  a  clinical  lecturer  from  the  start.  But 
the  task  was  no  easy  one,  and  the  amount  of 
''  midnight  oil"  consumed  in  preparing  for  my 
daily  duties  can  hardly  be  estimated,  as  I  had 
every  stimulus  to  exertion  that  could  inspire  the 
human  heart.  Strange  to  say,  I  experienced  more 
difficult}"  with  my  regular  lectures  than  with  any- 
thing else,  and  for  some  time  I  realized  that  I  w^as 
making  a  failure  in  that  regard.  I  soon  discovered 
that,  although  my  lectures  were  finished  discourses 
from  a  literary  and  a  scientific  point  of  view,  they 
did  not  impress  my  auditors,  hut,  on  the  contrary, 
rendered  them  listless  and  unsympathetic.  Unable 
to  appreciate  the  situation,  and  surprised  that  my 
elaborate  disquisitions  seemed  to  be  wasted  on  the 
class,  notwithstanding  their  polished  periods  and 
their  oratorical  flights,  I  requested  a  friend  of  sound 
judgment  to  attend  several  of  my  lectures,  and  to 
endeavor  to  ascertain  their  defects  and  the  secret 
of  my  manifest  failure. 

After  having  listened  to  but  a  single  one,  he 
sought  me  and  said:  ^' Well,  Warren,  I  have 
heard  your  lecture,  and  have  come  with  my  report. 
But,  first,  let  me  ask  if  all  of  them  are  like  the  one 
which  I  listened  to  on  yesterday  ?" 

^'  Yes,"  I  answered,  "  I  think  the  one  which  I 
delivered  on  yesterday  is  a  fair  specimen  of  the  rest, 
only  that  as  1  progress  with  the  subject  I  naturally 
become  less  elementary  and  more  technical." 

"  Then,"  said  he,  "  that  being  the  case,  let  me 
advise  you  to  make  a  bonfire  of  them  immediately." 

"  Burn  my  lectures,"  cried  I,  ''burn  them  after 


all  the  thought  and  research  that  I  have  devoted  to 
them?  Are  the}^,  then^  such  miserable  produc- 
tions— such  dead  failures  ?  How  am  I  to  get  on 
without  them?" 

^' Yes,  burn  them  all,  and  do  it  to-day,"  he  re- 
plied. ' '  They  are  creditable  productions  enough  in 
themselves,  but  they  are  not  suited  to  those  to 
whom  they  are  addressed.  They  would  answer  for 
professors,  but  not  for  students.  You  tire  above 
the  heads  of  your  auditors,  and  they  do  not  see 
what  you  are  aiming  at.  Burn  them.  Trust  to 
your  knowledge  of  the  subject,  to  your  natural 
oratorical  powers,  and  to  the  inspiration  of  an  at- 
tracted class,  and  you  will  succeed.  The  students 
say  that  you  are  '  a  trump  at  the  bedside,'  but  'a 
bore  in  the  lecture-room.'  So  go  to  work  and  talk 
in  the  same  natural  manner  in  both  places.  Instead 
of  supposing  that  you  have  to  address  educated 
doctors,  select  the  most  ignorant  student  in  the 
class  and  lecture  to  him  exclusively — suiting  your 
ideas  and  your  language  to  the  measure  of  his  ca- 
pacity, and  you  will  please  and  instruct  the  rest." 

I  spent  a  sleepless  night,  thinking  continuously 
of  this  criticism  and  advice,  but  without  being  able 
to  summon  courage  enough  to  follow  my  friend's 
suggestions  ;  and  I  went  to  the  lecture-room  on  the 
next  day  determined  to  make  another  brave  effort 
in  behalf  of  my  bantlings  before  concluding  to 
consign  them  to  the  flames,  as  I  thought  them 
worthy  of  a  better  fate. 

I  tried  to  speak  with  unusual  emphasis  ;  to  make 
up  in  manner  for  all  other  deficiencies,  but  hard  1 3^ 
had  I  begun  when  I  felt  so  hampered  by  the  com- 
ments of  my  friend,  and  so  confused  by  the  per- 
sistent indifference  of  the  class,  that  I  could  scarcely 
read  the  manuscript  before  me,  and  I  halted,  stam- 
mered, and  blushed  crimson  with  each  succeeding 

248  A  doctor's  experiences 

sentence.  Finally,  meeting  with  the  word  ele- 
phantiasis,  my  tongue  failed  absolutely  to  perform 
its  functions.  Here  was  a  dilemma  indeed,  and  I 
perfectly  recognized  its  significance,  realizing  that 
I  must  do  something  desperate  to  escape  from  it  or 
retire  in  disgrace  from  the  lecture-room.  Stopping 
for  a  moment,  and  taking  a  drink  of  water — the 
last  resource  of  oratorical  desperation — I  seized  my 
manuscript,  tore  it  into  a  hundred  pieces,  and, 
throwing  them  from  the  rostrum,  said:  ''  There  go 
my  bladders,  gentlemen,  and  I  shall  swim  without 
them  or  sink  in  the  attempt."  The  effect  was 
magical.  The  students  rose  from  their  seats,  and 
gave  cheer  after  cheer  in  the  wildest  enthusiasm, 
and  when  silence  was  restored  I  proceeded  with  my 
lecture,  and,  without  halt  or  hesitation,  talked  on 
to  the  end  of  the  hour. 

From  that  day  I  never  carried  a  note  into  the 
lecture-room,  but  trusting  to  a  thorough  knowledge 
of  the  subject,  to  my  natural  fluency  of  speech,  and 
to  the  manifest  partiality  of  the  class,  I  lectured 
regularly  to  crowded  benches,  and  with  a  success 
which  I  will  leave  you  to  estimate,  as  I  was  fre- 
quently honored  by  your  presence  in  the  audience. 

Nor  did  I  forget  the  advice  which  had  been  given 
me  in  regard  to  the  matter  and  style  of  my  lec- 
tures, for,  selecting  a  student  who  seemed  most 
signally  to  illustrate  the  Darwinian  theory  of  man's 
descent,  I  addressed  myself  to  him  exclusively,  and 
in  terms  which  I  thought  his  primal  ancestors 
themselves  would  appreciate,  with  the  result  of 
pleasing  and  instructing  the  entire  class,  just  as  my 
friend  had  predicted. 

We  had  a  delightful  time  socially.  The  best 
people  called  on  us,  and  invited  us  to  their  houses. 
There  was  no  feeling  against  us  as  strangers,  but 
we  were  sought  after,  caressed,  flattered,  and  over- 


whelmed  with  courtesies  of  every  kind.  Baltimore 
seemed,  indeed,  a  veritable  Paradise,  with  every- 
thing to  render  it  attractive,  and  to  fill  us  with 
thankfulness  that  our  lots  had  been  cast  with  such 
charming  people  and  in  so  delightful  a  place.  I 
was  at  once  elected  a  member  of  the  Maryland 
Club,  and  made  the  surgeon  of  a  crack  regiment^ 
while  my  name  figured  in  the  lists  of  every  possi- 
ble fashionable  enterprise  and  charitable  adventure. 
Private  practice  came  also  in  a  full  tide  from  the 
first,  my  Hebrew  friend  of  the  Sweet  Chalybeate 
materially  swelling  the  current  by  his  enthusiastic 
laudation  whenever  my  name  was  mentioned.  In 
a  word,  heaven  seemed  to  have  selected  me  for  the 
fullest  measure  of  its  sunshine,  and  blessed  with 
health,  means,  position,  the  prospect  of  greater 
wealth,  an  adoring  wife  and  a  lovely  child,  I 
fondly  dreamed  that  my  cup  of  bliss  was  filled  to 
repletion,  and  that  there  were  no  dregs  at  the 
bottom  of  it.  But  I  was  destined  to  find  it  the 
merest  mockery  and  the  most  empty  delusion  after 

Preoccupied  with  the  duties  of  my  position,  and 
having  long  since  ceased  to  take  interest  in  poli- 
tics, I  wa^  insensible  to  the  progress  of  events  un- 
til troops  were  actually  marching  through  Balti- 
more to  engage  in  the  work  of  subjugating  and 
devastating  the  South. 

I  had  a  particular  friend,  an  Irishman  by  the 
name  of  Davis,  to  whom  I  had  long  been  de- 
votedly attached.  He  and  his  young  wife — a  charm- 
ing woman,  whose  life  was  bound  up  in  her  hus- 
band— resided  in  the  same  house  with  us,  and  were 
our  constant  companions. 

On  the  19th  of  April,  1861,  I  accepted  an  in- 
vitation to  accompany  him  to  the  Washington 
depot  to  witness  the   departure  of  the  6th  Massa- 

250  A  doctor's  experiences 

cliusetts  regiment,  as  I  desired  to  learn  sometTiing 
of  the  material  with  which  it  was  proposed  to  coerce 
the  Southern  people^  a  task  that  I  then  deemed  im- 
possible. I  should  explain  that  io  those  days  troops 
coming  from  the  North  and  bound  to  the  South 
had  to  leave  the  train  at  the  President  street  depot, 
and  to  march  along  Pratt  street  to  the  Camden 
street  depot,  a  distance  of  about  one  mile  and  a 
half;  and  it  was  to  the  latter  place  that  we  pro- 
posed to  go  for  the  gratification  of  our  curiosity. 

Preliminary  to  starting  on  this  mission,  I  visited 
a  patient  in  the  neighborhood  and  was  unexpect- 
edly detained  for  half  an  hour  at  his  residence, 
having  to  wait  for  my  hat,  which  some  one  had 
taken  away  by  mistake.  This  trivial  circumstance 
possibly  saved  my  life.  When  I  returned  to  keep 
my  engagement  with  Davis,  I  found  that  he  had 
grown  impatient  at  my  delay  and  had  left  without 
me,  and  I  went  to  m}^  office  and  remained  there  an 
hour  engaged  in  reading.  On  going  into  the  street 
again  I  found  the  greatest  possible  excitement  and 
commotion  prevailing  there.  People  were  rushing 
in  the  wildest  confusion  toward  Pratt  street,  breaking 
into  the  gun  stores  and  armories  en  route,  and  cry- 
ing ^'  Baltimoreans  to  the  rescue  !  The  war  has 
commenced  !  The  troops  have  fired  upon  the  citi- 
zens !  Our  brothers  are  being  murdered  !  Let  us 
avenge  them  !"  In  a  moment  every  drop  of  blood 
within  me  was  on  fire,  and  I  joined  the  throng  and 
liastened  eagerly  to  the  scene  of  conflict.  On 
arriving  there  I  found  a  large  number  of  police  in- 
terposed between  a  crowd  of  excited  citizens  and  a 
detachment  of  demoralized  troops  which  was  being 
marched  toward  the  depot  under  the  protection  of 
the  mayor  and  the  chief  of  police.  I  learned  that 
a  serious  engagement  had  occurred  between  the 
people  and   two  detachments  which  had  preceded 


this  one,  in  which  a  number  of  persons  on  both 
sides  were  wounded,  and  that  the  police  had  inter- 
fered and  put  an  end  to  the  disturbance,  but  with 
the  greatest  difficulty.  I  had  been  on  the  ground 
but  a  few  moments  when  I  saw  a  special  friend  of 
mine  gesticulating  wildly,  and  relating  something 
which  seemed  to  distress  him  greatly,  and  fill  those 
about  him  with  almost  ungovernable  fury.  Push- 
ing through  the  crowd,  I  at  last  approached  him 
and  cried  out:  ^^In  God's  name,  what  is  the 
matter.''  "Matter!"  he  exclaimed_,  "Davis  is 
dead.  He  has  been  shot  down  like  a  dog.  Come 
and  help  to  avenge  his  murder." 

"  Davis  m-urdered  !"  I  cried.  "  Lead  on  and  I 
wdll  follow  to  the  death  ;  but  let  us  go  to  the 
Armory  and  get  muskets.  We  can't  fight  with  our 
naked  hands."  But,  before  we  could  do  anything, 
it  was  announced  that  the  soldiers  had  been  placed 
on  the  train  and  sent  off  to  Washington,  and  thus  the 
opportunity  to  avenge  our  murdered  friend  was  lost 

I  then  learned  that  having  reached  the  depot  be- 
fore the  arrival  of  the  troops  he  strolled  leisurely 
along  the  track  until  he  got  beyond  the  limits  of 
the  city,  and,  that,  when  the  train  passed  him,  in 
total  ignorance  of  the  attack  which  had  been  made 
on  the  soldiers  and  in  the  purest  badinage,  he 
waved  his  hat  in  the  air  and  cried:  "Hurrah  for 
Jeff  Davis  !  " — when  a  hundred  guns  were  fired  si- 
multaneously from  the  windows,  and  he  fell  with 
a  bullet  through  his  heart,  the  first  victim  to  the 
war  between  the  sections.  But  for  the  trivial  cir- 
cumstance of  having  to  wait  for  my  hat,  I  should 
have  been  with  him  and  at  his  side  to  receive,  per- 
haps, one  of  the  hundred  balls  which  were  sped  on 
that  mission  of  vengeance  and  death. 

I  immediately    started  in  search  of  his  remains  ; 

252  A  doctor's  experiences 

made  arrangements  to  have  them  transferred  to  his 
residence  so  soon  as  the  coroner's  work  was  done, 
and  then  went  in  advance  to  break  the  terrible 
news  to  his  wife.  Of  that  heart-rending  interview, 
and  of  all  the  sad  incidents  connected  with  the  ar- 
rival of  his  body  and  its  subsequent  interment,  I 
can  not  trust  myself  to  write,  for  the  recollection 
of  them  is  like  a  sharp  thorn  in  my  heart  even  at 
this  distant  day.  Thus  was  sacrificed,  wantonly 
and  unnecessarily,  one  of  nature's  real  noblemen — 
one  whose  bosom  glowed  with  the  best  traits  of  the 
race  to  which  he  belonged — and  to  whom  the  term 
gentleman  in  its  highest  and  most  comprehensive 
significance  was  as  thoroughly  applicable  as  to  any 
man  I  have  ever  known.  He  was  summoned  to  his 
last  account  without  a  moment's  warning  ;  but  for 
every  sin  registered  against  him  there  were  a  thou- 
sand good  deeds  recorded  as  an  offset,  and  I  be- 
lieve that  the  fountain  of  mercy  flowed  as  freely  for 
him  as  for  any  shriven  soul  that  ever  stood  before 
the  judgment  seat. 




My  Dear  Doctor  :  • 

The  affair  of  the  19th  of  April  produced  a  fear- 
ful commotion  in  the  country,  and  there  were  stir- 
ring scenes  in  Baltimore  for  some  days  .afterward. 
Throughout  the  North  there  resounded  a  cry  for 
vengeance,  and  preparations  were  made  to  invade 
Maryland  and  to  burn  its  rebellious  city.  The 
South  received  the  intelligence  with  the  wildest 
manifestations  of  delight  and  promises  of  prompt 
assistance  in  case  of  need.  The  people  of  Baltimore 
without  distinction  of  party  were  a  unit  in  their 
approval  of  the  assault,  and  mass-meetings  were 
held  daily  in  Monument  Square  to  give  expression 
to  the  prevailing  sentiment  against  the  passage  of 
troops  through  the  city.  Of  two  of  these  meetings 
I  have  a  specially  vivid  memory  :  one  of  them 
was  presided  over  by  Holiday  Hicks — then  the  im- 
cumbent  of  the  gubernatorial  chair — who  professed 
-a  readiness  to  shed  the  last  drop  of  his  blood  to  pro- 
tect Baltimore  against  further  invasion,  and  a 
month  afterward  became  the  pliant  tool  of  the 
Federal  authorities  to  this  very  end  ;  and  the 
other  was  electrified  by  a  speech  from  ex-Grovernor 
Lowe,  which  was  one  of  the  most  stirring  that  I 
ever  heard.  Commencing  in  this  wise  :  ''Were  I 
Governor  of  Maryland  for  a  single  hour  to-night,  I 
should  seize  yon  time-honored  banner,  and  turning 
my  face  toward  the  Pennsylvania  line,  would  call 
upon  every  loyal  son  of  the  South  to  follow  me," 

254  A  doctor's  exI'eriences 

he  poured  out  for  an  hour  a  torrent  of  such  burning- 
words  as  moved  almost  to  frenzy  the  excited  crowd 
around  him.  The  volunteer  companies  were  called 
to  arms ;  others  were  promptly  organized ;  and 
nothing  w^as  left  undone  in  the  work  of  preparing 
to  repel  any  invasion  that  might  be  attempted. 
On  the  Sunday  succeeding  the  attack  in  Pratt 
street  intelligence  was  received  of  the  approach  of 
a  body  of  Northern  troops,  and  the  greatest  excite- 
ment prevailed.  The  church  bells  were  rung  ;  the 
u:eneral  fire-alarm  was  sounded  ;  and  the  citizen s^ 
turned  out  en  masse  with  such  arms  as  they  could 
commandj  and  flocking  to  the  City  Hall,  prepared 
to  resist  the  enemy,  a  Voutrance.  I  was  made 
surgeon-in-chief  of  the  municipal  forces,  and  au- 
thorized to  employ  as  many  assistants  as  were  re- 
quired, and  to  seize  all  necessary  instruments,  ap- 
pliances and  stores,  and  to  hold  myself  ready  to 
take  charge  of  the  wounded.  Indeed,  I  actually 
received  orders  to  march  to  the  field,  and  mounted 
on  an  immense  white  horse  seized  for  the  occasion 
at  the  nearest  livery  stable,  and  with  a  large  corp& 
of  surgeons  and  a  caravan  of  express  wagons  fol- 
lowing after  me,  I  marched  up  Baltimore  street  to 
Green,  when  I  was  ordered  to  return  to  head- 
quarters, there  being  really  no  enemy  at  Catons- 
ville,  as  had  been  reported.  I  was,  nevertheless, 
kept  on  duty  for  a  number  of  days,  while  the  whole 
city  resounded  with  martial  music  and  glittered 
with  uniforms  and  bayonets.  The  authorities  at 
Washington  having  in  the  mean  time  become 
alarmed  and  not  wishing  to  precipitate  hostilities 
on  that  side  of  the  Potomac,  came  to  an  understand- 
ing with  the  mayor  that  the  city  should  not  be 
molested  and  that  the  troops  ' 'called  out  for  the 
defense  of  the  National  capital" — as  they  put  it — 


sTiould  be  sent  to  Annapolis  and  transported  thence 
"by  rail  to  the  District. 

Taking  advantage  of  the  momentary  lull  and 
anticipating  subsequent  trouble,  I  carried  my  fam- 
ily as  far  as  Norfolk  en  route  to  Edenton,  and  re- 
turned immediately  to  Baltimore,  so  as  to  be  ready 
for  any  emergency.  A  short  time  after  my  return 
I  was  sent  for  by  Grenerals  Stewart  and  Elzy — then 
in  command  of  the  volunteer  organizations  of  the 
city — and.  informed  that  they  had  men  in  abun- 
dance, but  were  sadly  in  want  of  arms,  and  requested 
to  bear  letters  to  the  governors  of  Virginia  and  of 
North  Carolina,  asking  for  a  contribution  from  each 
of  a  thousand  muskets.  It  was  a  perilous  undertak- 
ing, as  the  route  through  Washington  was  closed  and 
the  Relay  House  was  in  the  hands  of  General  Butler^ 
who  was  said  to  be  very  strict  in  his  examination 
of  persons  and  of  their  baggage.  I  considered  it  a 
point  of  honor,  however,  to  accept  the  mission 
whatever  might  be  the  risk  attending  it,  and  after 
having  seen  two  of  my  colleagues  and  obtained 
their  cordial  indorsement  of  the  undertaking,  I 
started  on  the  next  morning,  taking  with  me  only  a 
hand-satchel  with  a  change  of  linen,  and  leaving 
my  office  and  all  of  my  effects  in  charge  of  a  ser- 
vant. I  expected  to  be  absent  about  two  weeks, 
but  it  was  not  until  after  four  years  of  suffering, 
peril  and  pecuniary  ruin  that  I  saw  Baltimore 
again — to  find  my  chair  occupied  by  another,  my 
colleagues  hostile  or  indifferent,  my  hosts  of  ardent 
friends  changed  into  mere  acquaintances,  and  my 
books,  instruments,  clothing  and  everything  that 
I  possessed  scattered  to  the  winds. 

When  the  train  on  which  I  was  a  passenger 
reached  the  Relay  House,  I  slipped  into  my  pockets 
everything  that  could  make  the  identification  of 
my  hand-satchel  possible,  and  then  wrapping  the 

256  A  doctor's  experiences 

dangerous  letters  in  an  old  newspaper,  I  left  it 
open  upon  the  seat  which  I  had  occupied  and  re- 
treated to  the  platform  in  the  rear.  I  watched  the 
guard  as  it  came  stamping  and  cursing  on  its  mis- 
sion of  investigation,  intending  to  jump  off  and 
disappear  in  the  crowd  if  they  examined  the  satchel, 
as  I  should  have  been  shot  to  a  certainty  had  the 
letters  been  found  and  traced  to  me.  Fortunately, 
the  ruse  succeeded,  for,  observing  that  the  satchel 
was  open  and  only  a  roll  of  old  paper  was  visible, 
they  simply  scanned  it  furtively  and  passed  on.  I 
then  entered  the  car  very  boldly  and  meeting  them 
half  way  answered  their  questions  in  regard  to  my- 
self by  saying  that  I  was  a  doctor  returning  to  his 
home  in  the  South,  and  concerning  my  baggage  by 
pointing  to  the  satchel  which  they  had  passed  over. 
This  seemed  to  be  satisfactory,  as  with  an  oath  or 
two — uttered  on  general  principles — they  went  on 
with  their  work  and  left  me  unmolested.  We 
were  detained  fully  three  hours,  and  I  began  to 
think  that  we  would  not  be  permitted  to  proceed 
further  and  that  I  should  fall  into  "  Old  Ben's  " 
clutches  after  all.  But  the  whistle  finally  sounded, 
and  my  agony  of  suspense  was  relieved  by  the  de- 
parture of  tiie  train.  In  my  whole  life  I  have 
never  experienced  such  intensely  anxious  moments 
as  those  which  I  passed  at  that  depot,  with  General 
Elzy's  compromising  letters  in  my  satchel  and 
General  Butler's  brutal  guard  on  the  train.  For 
weeks  afterward  visions  of  a  drum-head  court 
martial  and  of  a  squad  of  uniformed  executioners 
floated  though  my  mind^  and  I  never  retired  with- 
out dreaming  of  a  cross-eyed  man  and  a  death  war- 
rant— such  was  the  impression  produced  upon  my 
brain  by  what  occurred  on  that  memorable  day  at 
the   Kelay  House. 

At  Point  of  Rocks  I  saw  General  Turner  Ashby, 

m    THREE    CONTINENTS.  257 

and  having  explained  my  mission  and  sliown  my 
letters,  obtained  permission  from  him  to  cross  the 
river  and  to  proceed  to  Leesburg,  Virginia,  from 
whence  a  train  ran  to  Alexandria.  I  was  particu- 
larly struck  with  Ashby,  and  was  not  surprised 
<at  the  brilliant  reputation  wdiich  he  subsequently 
made  for  himself.  Though  diminutive  in  person, 
he  possessed  that  peculiar  nervous  organization 
which  develops  force  and  fortitude  out  of  a  seem- 
ingly deficient  physical  system,  and  with  which 
high  courage  and  great  dash  are  invariably  asso- 
ciated. With  hair  as  black  as  the  crow's  breast, 
s>  flowing  beard  of  the  same  color,  and  features 
delicately  molded,  his  face  was  lighted  up  by  two 
small  gray  eyes,  which  seemed  to  coruscate  with 
every  passing  emotion,  and  to  tell  of  the  pride  and 
daring  which  were  the  dominating  elements  of  his 
character.  He  fell  early  in  the  war,  but  not  before 
he  had  associated  his  name  w^ith  deeds  of  heroism 
which  have  secured  for  it  a  commanding  position 
in  the  history  of  the  struggle,  and  will  transmit  it 
to  posterity  as  that  of  one  of  the  bravest  of  the  brave. 
Oeneral  Jackson — the  immortal  "Stonewall"  of 
Confederate  days — in  his  report  of  the  engagement 
in  which  he  fell,  says  of  him  :  "  As  a  partisan  of- 
ficer, I  never  knew  his  superior.  His  daring 
bravery  was  proverbial  ;  his  powers  of  endurance 
almost  incredible  ;  his  tone  of  character  heroic  ; 
and  his  sagacity  in  discovering  the  purposes  and 
movements  of  the  enemy  almost  intuitive."  For 
such  a  eulogium  from  such  a  source  any  man 
might  be  proud  to  die,  and  it  will  stand  as  a 
monument  to  his  memory  while  true  heroism  is 
appreciated  among  men. 

My  traveling  companion  was  Charles    Winder, 
of  Maryland,  who  had  just  resigned  a  captaincy  in 
the  United  States  Army — which  had  been  given  to 

258  A  doctor's  experiexces 

liim  for  standing  by  his  command  on  a  sinking- 
steamer  when  every  other  officer  sought  safety  in  a 
passing  vessel — and  was  proceeding  southward  to 
offer  his  sword  to  the  Confederacy, 

He  afterward  distinguished  himself  on  manj 
bloody  fields  and  was  created  a  brigadier-general 
at  an  early  period  of  the  war  for  ' '  conspicuous 
gallantry  in  the  face  of  the  enemy."  I  never  met 
with  a  more  modest  and  charming  man,  or  one 
who  bore  more  decidedly  the  stamp  of  high  breed- 
ing, purity  of  character,  and  chivalrous  courage. 
Though  we  met  as  strangers,  we  parted  as  friends, 
and  I  paid  him  the  tribute  of  many  a  sympathetic- 
tear  when  I  heard  that  he  had  fallen  at  Cedar  Pun 
in  the  summer  of  '62,  "manifesting  the  same 
spirit  as  on  the  wreck,  that  which  holds  life  light 
when  weighed  against  honor,"  as  Mr.  Davies  tes- 
tifies. He  was  a  near  relative  of  Gen.  John  H. 
Winder,  to  whose  lot  it  fell  to  have  charge  of  the 
Federal  prisoners  during  the  war  and  to  be  exposed 
to  such  a  storm  of  abuse  afterward.  Though  au- 
stere in  manner  and  somewhat  of  a  martinet  in 
disposition,  I  believediim  to  have  been  a  man  of 
kind  heart  and  scrupulous  integrity,  and  I  am  con- 
vinced that  so  far  from  having  deliberately  con- 
tributed to  the  sufferings  of  those  under  his  charge 
he  did  all  in  his  power  to  ameliorate  their  condi- 
tion. Mr.  Davis,  as  you  tnow,  bears  emphatic 
testimony  in  his  favor,  declaring  that  '^he  was  a 
man  too  brave  to  be  cruel  to  anything  within  his 
power,  and  too  w^ ell-bred  and  well-born  to  be  in- 
fluenced by  sordid  motives,"  while  Adjutant-Gen- 
eral Cooper,  an  officer  of  acknowledged  character 
and  reliability,  writes  that  "he  was  an  honest,  up- 
right, and  humane  gentleman."  I  do  not  propose 
to  go  into  the  question  of  the  treatment  of  prison- 
ers during  the  war,  and  J  will  dismiss  the  subject 


with  the  following  observations  :  Prisoners  of  war, 
as  a  rule,  complain  of  the  treatment  which  they 
have  received.  The  Confederate  soldiers  who  were 
confined  in  Northern  prisons  told  similar  stories  of 
hardship  and  atrocities  ;  the  South  was  completely 
drained  of  its  resources,  and  was  too  poor  to  supply 
its  own  soldiers  with  common  necessaries,  instru- 
ments and  medicines,  while  hospital  stores  were 
early  made  contraband  of  war  ;  the  policy  of  a  non- 
exchange  of  prisoners  did  not  originate  with  the 
South,  and  was  in  direct  conflict  with  its  interests, 
and,  lastly,  the  attributes  of  real  bravery  and  of 
positive  cruelty  are  incompatible  in  themselves,  and 
the  South  points  to  its  record  on  the  battle-field  as 
an  answer  to  the  charge  of  intentional  unkindness 
to  those  whom  the  chances  of  war  placed  in  its 

In  the  various  positions  which  I  had  the  honor 
to  occupy  during  the  war,  I  was  brought  much  in 
contact  with  prisoners,  and  especially  with  those 
who  had  been  wounded,  and  I  can  say  with  my 
hand  upon  my  heart  that  I  invariably  treated  them 
with  the  greatest  kindness.  Of  suffering  men  I 
never  asked  to  which  side  they  belonged  or  cared 
for  the  color  of  the  uniform  they  wore,  but  I  minis- 
tered to  all  as  if  they  were  my  friends  and  brethren. 
Had  I  acted  differently  I  should  have  failed  to  inter- 
pret the  feelings  and  wishes  of  the  two  great  men 
under  whom  it  was  my  privilege  to  serve^  Robert  E. 
Lee  and  Zebulon  B.  Yance,  the  finest  types  of 
Christian  gentlemen  I  have  ever  known. 

I  saw  nothing  of  the  ''guns  commanding  the 
Potomac,"  of  which  I  had  heard  so  much  in  Balti- 
more, but  I  found  Alexandria  in  a  state  of  demorali- 
zation, as  it  had  been  abandoned  by  the  Southern 
forces  in  view. of  an  expected  advance  from  Wash- 

2B0  A  doctor's  experiences 

ington,  which  actually  took  place  a  few  days  after- 
ward . 

I  reached  Richmond  without  mishap,  and  put  up 
at  the  Exchange  Hotel,  which  was  then  the  head- 
quarters of  the  coming  Confederate  army.  I  say 
the  **  coming"  army,  for  though  the  greatest  ex- 
citement prevailed,  and  every  one  talked  of  dying 
for  his  country,  there  was  nothing  approaching  to 
a  regular  organization  in  existence.  In  truth,  it 
is  almost  impossible  to  describe  the  condition  of 
things  in  Richmond  at  that  time.  All  business 
seemed  suspended  ;  flags  bearing  strange  devices 
floated  from  every  house-top  ;  tlie  air  w^as  filled 
with  tbe  strains  of  martial  music  ;  crowds  of  citi- 
zens with  palmetto  twigs  or  blue  cockades  in  their 
hats,  and  armed  with  rifles  or  shot-guns  or  rusty 
swords,  paraded  the  streets  by  night  and  day  ;  regi- 
ments of  soldiers  were  constantly  arriving,  clad  in 
fantastic  uniforms,  bearing  banners  adorned  with 
pictures  of  the  rattle-snake,  wearing  caps  upon 
wdiich  the  words  ^ liberty  or  death"  w^ere  printed, 
and  with  huge  bowie  knives  slung  at  their  sides  ; 
the  bar-rooms  were  filled  with  tipsy  patriots  boast- 
ing of  the  'Spiles  of  Yankees"  they  were  to  kill 
daily  ^'before  breakfast,"  and  of  the  revels  they 
were  soon  to  hold  in  Faneuil  Hall ;  the  wildest 
rumors  of  the  most  improbable  things  startled  or 
delighted  the  populace  at  every  moment,  and  a 
species  of  insanity — military  and  political — seemed 
to  possess  the  popular  mind,  and  to  illustrate  itself 
in  the  most  fantastic  performances  and  exaggerated 

Virginia  had  not  formally  seceded  from  the 
Union,  but  she  had  practically  sided  with  her 
Southern  sisters,  and  her  capital  had  become  the 
focus  of  the  intense  excitement  which  prevailed 
throughout  the  South  and  the  rallying  point  for 


tlie  fierce  volunteers  who  believed  that  their  mis- 
sion was  to  ^^  take  Washington"  forthwith  and  to 
"annihilate  the  North"  in  a  single  campaign. 

All  of  this  exaggeration  of  sentiment — this  su- 
perfluity of  "froth  and  foam" — really  surprised 
and  alarmed  me,  for  I  fully  appreciated  the  power 
and  the  earnestness  of  the  great  people  against 
whom  the  South  was  arrayed,  and  I  feared  that 
the  wild  demonstrations  which  I  witnessed  daily 
indicated  an  entire  absence  of  that  appreciation 
upon  the  part  of  those  whose  lives  and  liberties 
were  involved  in  the  approaching  struggle.  Filled 
with  these  misgivings  I  sought  my  relative,  Mr, 
James  A.  Seddon — who  subsequently  became  the 
Confederate  war  minister,  and  who  was  a  clear- 
headed man  as  well  as  an  "original  secessionist'* 
— and  expressed  my  apprehensions  to  him.  He 
reassured  me  somewhat  by  answering  in  this  wise: 
"All  great  wars  have  been  ushered  in  by  just  such 
exhibitions.  Human  nature  is  often  fantastic 
when  it  is  most  in  earnest.  It  is  true  that  South- 
ern blood  is  naturally  warm  and  Southern  brains 
impressionable,  bnt  if  you  were  in  Boston  to-day 
you  would  see  similar  demonstrations.  You  would 
see  people  'taking  the  oath'  after  every  meal^ 
hurrahing  over  '  the  old  flag '  at  all  the  street 
corners,  singing  themselves  hoarse  with  'the  Star- 
Spangled  Banner,'  partitioning  off  'Southern  plan- 
tations' as  if  they  already  owned  them,  and  en- 
gaged, in  fact,  in  an  infinitude  of  senseless  antics 
and  ludicrous  performances.  Both  sides  have  gone 
crazy  with  excitement  and  passion,  bpt  they  are 
not  the  less  serious  for  all  that.  Remember  that 
Niagara  is  white  with  'foam  and  froth'  just 
where  the  whgle  river,  in  a  raging  and  resistless 
flood,  sweeps  over  the  great  boulders  and  through 
the   mighty  caverns  which  encumber  its  channel. 

262  A  doctor's  experiences 

Our  people  are  in  earnest — in  terrible  earaest — I 
assure  you.  They  'mean  fight,'  and  to  the  bit- 
ter end — nothing  less.  While  I  am  not  one  of 
those  who  underrate  the  courage  and  the  resources 
of  our  adversaries.  I  see  nothing  in  the  situation  to 
alarm  and  discourage  me,  and  you  must  not  per- 
mit yourself  to  doubt  the  issue.  We  may  not 
''take  Washington'  or  'burn  Boston,'  but  we  shall 
maintain  our  rights  and  conquer  our  independence, 
so  sure  as  there  is  a  God  in  heav^en." 

To  this  I  answered:  "  I  hope  sincerely  you  are 
right,  but  you  may  depend  upon  it  the  excitement 
which  now  fills  to  overflowing  the  popular  mind 
and  prompts  to  such  exaggeration  of  senti- 
ment and  excess  of  confidence  will  be  sorely  tried 
before  we  reach  the  end  of  this  matter.  For  my 
own  part,  I  wish  the  doctrine  of  secession  had 
never  been  heard  of,  and  that  our  country  could 
have  remained  as  ,our  fathers  left  it,  prosperous, 
happy  and  united.  But,  as  the  issue  has  been 
made  between  the  two  sections — thank  God,  by  no 
agency  of  mine — every  sentiment  of  my  nature  and 
aspiration  of  my  soul  is  with  the  land  of  my  birth 
and  the  people  with  whom  I  have  been  reared,  and 
I  would  have  nothing  done  or  left  undone  which 
could  by  any  possibility  rob  us  of  the  victory." 

On  the  succeeding  day  I  saw  Governor  Letcher, 
and  presented  my  letter  asking  for  arms.  I  can- 
not say  that  he  treated  me  rudely,  but  he  declared 
peremptorily  that  he  had  no  muskets  to  spare,  as 
he  needed  all  in  the  State  for  his  own  people.  At 
the  same  time  lie  launched  out  into  a  harangue, 
the  gist  of  which  ^was  that  everything  depended  on 
Virginia,  upon  whose  action  ''the  eyes  of  the 
world  were  turned ' '  and  the  fate  of  the  Confeder- 
acy centered.  I  came  to  the  conclusion  that  he 
might  be  a  true  Virginian,  but  that  he  was  not 


the  man  for  me  to  waste  time  and  breath  upon  ; 
and  I  bade  adieu  to  his  excellency  as  precipitately 
as  the  rules  of  courtesy  would  allow. 

He  was  a  tall,  gaunt  man,  with  a  rubicund  face, 
and  a  hickory-nut  looking  head ,  upon  which  scarcely 
-a  strand  of  hair  was  discoverable.  His  prompt  re- 
fusal of  the  President's  requisition  for  troops  with 
which  to  coerce  the  seceding  States,  and  the  in- 
fluence which  he  exerted  with  the  convention  in 
behalf  of  the  ordinance  of  secession,  made  him  popu- 
lar with  his  own  people,  who  still  greatly  revere 
his  memory. 

My  visit  to  Ealeigh  was  much  more  agreeable  in 
itself  and  fortunate  in  its  results.  Governor  Ellis 
received  me  with  cordiality,  and  promptly  granted 
the  request  which  I  bore  to  him.  In  a  word,  he 
acted  like  a  gentleman  and  a  patriot — showing  not 
less  devotion  to  his  own  people  than  sympathy 
with  those  for  whom  I  pleaded.  He  had  married 
Miss  Mary  Daves,  of  New  Berne,  an  old  friend  of 
mine  and  one  of  the  loveliest  women  in  the  State, 
and  I  have  always  believed  that  her  kind  interces- 
sion had  something  to  do  with  the  Grovernor's 
prompt  response  in  the  matter  of  the  muskets. 
Five  hundred  rifles  were  packed  to  be  sent  to  Kich- 
mond,  but  the  complexion  of  things  having  materi- 
ally changed  in  the  mean  time,  the  arms  were  turned 
over  to  Mrs.  Bradley  Johnson  for  the  use  of  the 
first  Maryland  regiment  which  organized  under  the 
Confederate  flag.  I  lingered  a  few  days  in  Ealeigh , 
listening  to  the  debates  in  the  convention  on  the 
occasion  of  the  passage  of  the  ordinance  of  secession, 
and  discussing  with  old  friends  the  topic  of  the 
coming  war,  and  I  then  paid  a  hurried  visit  to  my 
friends  and  family  at  Edenton. 

On  my  return  to  Richmond,  en  route  to  Baltimore, 
I  met  a   large  number    of  'those  whom  I  had  left 

264  A  doctor's  experiences 

there  under  arms,  and  learned  from  them  the  sad 
story  of  the  possession  of  that  city  by  Butler  and 
his  troops,  the  treason  of  many  who  had  pretended 
to  an  ardent  sympathy  with  the  Southern  cause, 
the  imprisonment  of  the  secession  members  of  the 
Legislature,  and  the  closure  of  all  the  ordinary 
routes  of  travel  leading  to  the  city.  Although  it 
was  my  purpose  to  link  my  fortunes  with  those  of 
the  South  eventually,  I  desired  to  return  to  Balti- 
more in  order  to  make  arrangements  for  a  final 
departure — which  you  can  well  understand,  from 
the  fact  that  I  had  left  my  office  open  with  every- 
thing I  possessed  exposed,  and  that  the  time  was- 
approaching  for  my  tour  of  duty  in  the  infirmary 
of  the  University  of  Maryland. 

While  preparing  to  reach  Baltimore  by  what  wa& 
familiarly  styled  the  underground  route — by  run- 
ning the  blockade  of  the  Potomac,  and  then  clan- 
destinely traveling  through  the  country — I  was 
astonished  by  the  arrival  of  letters  from  the  authori- 
ties of  the  college,  which  stated  that  they  had  made 
arrangements  with  the  Federal  commander  to  re- 
ceive into  their  hospital  the  sick  and  wounded  of 
his  army.  In  other  words,  that  our  infirmary  had 
been  transformed  into  a  United  States  hospital,. 
and  that  its  medical  and  surgical  attendants  had 
become  ipso  facto  the  paid  agents  of  the  Federal 
Government.  It  was  also  insisted  that  I  should 
return,  in  order  to  assist^in  carrying  out  the  terms 
of  that  contract. 

I  immediately  answered  to  the  effect  that  I  re- 
garded the  contract,  with  the  service  it  entailed,  as 
not  less  insulting  to  me  than  ruinous  to  the  school ; 
that  they  had  neither  the  legal  nor  the  moral  right 
to  use  property  in  which  I  had  chartered  rights  for 
such  a  purpose  without  my  previous  knowledge  and 
consent ;     that   although    as    a    matter    of    pure 



humanity  I  was  willing  to  give  my  professional 
services  to  sick  and  wounded  men  without  consider- 
ing their  antecedents  or  connections,  I  could  not  do  so  ' 
as  a  matter  of  business  and  for  a  pecuniary  consider- 
ation withonthecommg  particeps  criminis  with  those 
whose  mission  w^as  to  murder  and  to  rob  my  own 
people ;  that  in  view  of  the  facts  of  the  case  I  per- 
emptorily refused  to  assist  in  carrying  out  their 
contract  with  the  Federal  authorities,  and  that 
when  I  did  return — as  I  hoped  to  do  in  time  to  re- 
sume my  regular  course  of  lectures,  and  with  a 
victorious  army — I  should  leave  the  question  at 
issue  to  the  arbitrament  of  the  Southern  men  who 
accompanied  me  to  Baltimore,  as  they  could  best 
appreciate  my  feelings  and  take  in  the  whole  situa- 

A  few  days  afterward  I  received  another  letter, 
in  which  I  was  threatened  with  expulsion  if  I  did 
not  resume  my  duties  in  the  institution  by  the  10th 
day  of  May — a  date  which  had  already  passed  when 
the  communication  reached  me. 

Notwithstanding  this  threat,  no  action  was  taken 
against  me  until  after  the  battle  of  Gettysburg, 
when  it  was  made  evident  that  I  would  never  ^'re- 
turn with  a  victorious  army" — the  fate  of  the  Con- 
federacy having  been  sealed  upon   that  fatal  field. 

An  application  was  then  made  to  the  board  of 
visitors_,  which  body  alone  had  the  right  to  declare 
a  chair  vacant,  to  displace  me  upon  the  ground  of 
my  prolonged  absence,  or,  in  other  words,  connec- 
tion with  the  Confederate  army.  But  though  com- 
posed mainly  of  Union  men,  the  board  declined  to 
take  action  in  the  case,  when  my  colleagues, 
without  the  shadow  of  legal  authority  or  the  form 
ot  an  impeachment,  formally  deposed  me,  and  pro- 
ceeded to  the  election  of  my  successor.  Such  was 
my  punishment  for  having  repudiated  this   obnox- 

266  A  doctok's  experiences 

ious  contract  with  the  Federal  authorities,  and  for 
having  served  a  cause  for  which  they  professed  the 
deepest  sympathy. 

This  question  having  thus  heen  disposed  of  I 
hastened  to  Raleigh  and  offered  my  services  to  my 
native  State,  feeling  that  though  I  had  sacrificed 
my  property  and  my  position,  I  had  preserved  my 
honor  and  had  vindicated  my  independence  of  char- 
acter in  the  course  pursued. 

The  secretary  of  state,  Mr.  Warren  Winslow^ 
was  de  facto  the  executive  of  North  Carolina,  as 
the  failing  health  of  the  governor  prevented  him 
from  giving  attention  to  public  affairs,  and  he 
proved  himself  a  most  intelligent  and  efficient  offi- 
cer. Among  the  plans  which  he  elaborated  for  the 
public  defense  was  one  for  the  organization  of  a 
small  navy  in  the  sounds  along  the  coast,  which 
was  accomplished  b}'  equipping  a  number  of  steam- 
boats and  sailing  vessels,  and  placing  them  under 
the  command  of  the  officers  who  had  resigned  from 
the  United  States  Navy.  Of  this  organization  I 
was  made  surgeon-in-chief,  with  orders  to  report  to 
Captain  Murphy,  at  Portsmouth,  North  Carolina, 
where  a  naval  station  had  been  established. 

After  four  months  of  uneventful  service  on  the 
coast,  and  just  in  time  to  escape  capture  at  Hatteras, 
I  left  for  Richmond  in  order  to  obtain  a  position 
in  the  Confederate  army,  as  I  was  weary  of  inac- 
tion and  desired  some  real  surgical  work.  Indeed, 
my  occupation  was  gone,  as  the  "North  Carolina 
navy"  had  been  turned  over  to  the  Confederacy. 

Speaking  of  Hatteras  reminds  me  of  my  expe- 
rience there  and  of  the  mementoes  of  it  which  I 
brought  awa}^  with  me.  Just  at  the  point  where 
the  ocean  and  the  sound  approach  nearest  to  each 
other  and  a  shallow  inlet  then  existed,  two  forts 
had  been  built  and  a  battalion  was  stationed.    The 


human  mind  can  scarcely  conceive  of  the  loneli- 
ness and  desolation  of  the  place.  Imagine^  if  you 
can,  a  narrow  strip  of  land  interposed  between  two 
great  wastes  of  water — one-half  consisting  of  a 
hog  with  a  few  stunted  trees  and  shrubs  scattered 
over  its  surface  and  peopled  with  innumerable  frogs 
and  snakes,  and  the  remainder  composed  of  sand 
so  impalpable  as  to  be  lifted  in  clouds  of  dust  by 
every  passing  breeze,  and  you  will  have  some  idea 
of  the  topography  of  that  God-forgotten  locality. 
I  went  there  on  a  tour  of  inspection,  which  I  made 
as  brief  as  possible,  I  assure  you,  for  in  addition  to 
the  desolation  to  which  I  have  referred  the  mos- 
quitoes held  possession  of  it  by  day  and  night, 
blackening  the  air  by  their  presence,  and  making 
it  vocal  with  their  eternal  hum.  A  sable  cloud 
composed  of  myriads  of  these  insects,  and  visible 
for  a  considerable  distance,  hovered  over  the  head 
of  every  living  thing  that  stood  or  walked  upon 
that  dreary  shore^  and  while  one  laborer  worked 
upon  the  fortifications  another  had  to  stand  by  him 
"svith  a  handful  of  brush  to  keep  him  from  being 
devoured  by  them.  The  poor  mules  looked  as  if 
they  had  been  drawn  through  key-holes  and  then 
attacked  with  eruptions  of  small-pox.  Sleep  could 
only  be  had  by  stuffing  one's  ears  with  cotton 
ancl  enveloping  the  entire  body  in  blankets,  and 
even  then  it  was  'difficult  to  escape  the  search  of 
these  voracious  and  insatiable  blood-suckers.  Luck- 
ily the  surgeon  in  charge  had  been  given  a  bunk 
on  a  little  steamer  moored  some  distance  from  the 
shore,  while  he  had  provided  himself  with  a  double 
netting,  and  though  |le  shared  both  bunk  and  net- 
ting with  me  I  found  on  the  succeeding  morning 
that  my  face  and  hands  were  covered  with  an  erup- 
tion which  resembled  that  of  a  full  blown  varicella. 
Such  were  the  mementoes  which  I  carried  from 
Hatteras  and  retain  still  in  my  memory. 

268  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor: 

I  found  things  greatly  changed  in  Richmond. 
It  had  become  the  seat  of'  the  Confederate  govern- 
mentj  and  the  confusion  and  extravagance  of  other 
days  had  given  place  to  order  and  calmness.  The 
soldiers  in  transitu  seemed  more  determined  and 
less  demonstrative  than  their  predecessors  ;  fewer 
people  were  in  the  streets  and  more  in  the  service ; 
the  bar-rooms  were  comparatively  deserted,  and 
every  one  looked  the  embodiment  of  sobriet}^ ;  and 
in  a  word,  the  influence  of  military  discipline  and 
the  effect  of  the  actual  shock  of  battle  could  be 
seen  upon  all  classes  and  in  every  direction.  The 
battle  of  Manassas  had  just  been  won,  and,  though 
it  evoked  a  feeling  of  profound  satisfaction  among 
all  classes,  it  rather  quelled  than  stimulated  that 
spirit  of  intense  self-confidence  and  supreme  con- 
tempt for  the  foe  from  which  I  had  augured  so  un- 
favorably on  my  first  visit. 

It  was  felt  that  Southern  valor  had  triumphed 
over  immense  odds,  but,  in  the  presence  of  the 
long  list  of  the  dead  and  wounded  which  the  rec- 
ord of  the  fight  revealed,  there  came  the  realiza- 
tion that  the  '^  march  to  Boston,"  which  an  ex- 
cited people  had  so  wildly  raved  about,  was  no 
holiday  excursion  or' boyish  pastime.  It  is  true 
that  the  demand  for  a  forward  movement — for 
taking    advantage    of    the    victory    and    pressing 


on  to  the  National  capital — was  universal,  but  it 
was  felt  that  the  army  had  serious  work  before  it, 
and  that  the  people  of  the  North  were  booked  for  a 
long  and  a  desperate  fight. 

It  delighted  me  to  find  that  this  awakening  to 
reason — this  realization  of  the  situation — had  come 
already,  for,  to  my  mind,  it  was  the  death  of  an 
infatuation  which  invited  and  entailed  disaster, 
and  the  birth  of  a  sentiment  which  was  the  earnest 
and  the  assurance  of  ultimate  victory. 

The  hospitals  were  filled  with  the  sick  and 
Avounded,  and  it  cheered  my  heart  to  find  that  all 
deficiencies  as  regards  means  and  materials  for 
their  treatment  were  compensated  for  by  the  ten- 
der care  with  which  the  ladies  of  the  city  watched 
and  nursed  tliem.  It  seems  to  me  that  those  were 
most  fortunate  who  did  not  survive  that  memora- 
ble epoch  in  the  history  of  the  war,  for  they  went 
to  their  final  rest  ministered  to  by  loving  hands, 
believing  that  they  were  heroes  and  martyrs,  and 
in  the  full  assurance  that  the  ^^  bonny  blue  flag" 
was  destined  to  wave  victoriously  over  a  happy  and 
independent  people. 

I  was  presented  to  the  President  by  the  Hon. 
Robert  H.  Smith,  of  Alabama — my  father's  former 
pupil,  and  at  that  time  a  member  of  the  Confeder- 
ate Congress — who  immediately  had  me  commis- 
sioned a  surgeon  in  the  army  ;  and  on  the  suc- 
ceeding day  I  was  ordered  by  the  surgeon-general 
to  report  for  duty  at  the  University  of  Virginia. 

I  had  heard  much  complaint  against  the  gov- 
ernment for  its  failure  to  order  a  forward  move- 
ment immediately  after  the  victory  at  Manassas, 
and  it  was  not  until  I  reached  Charlottesville  and 
ascertained  the  actual  condition  of  the  army  that  I 
learned  to  appreciate  the  true  reason  of  its  appar- 
ent supineness. 

270  A  doctor's  experiences 

The  army  was.  literallyj  in  a  state  of  disorgan- 
ization, in  consequence  of  the  immense  number  of 
its  sick  and  wounded  and  because  of  the  impotency 
of  its  medical  organization. 

Although  more  than  two  weeks  had  elapsed 
since  the  battle,  large  numbers  of  disabled  soldiers 
were  still  being  sent  from  the  field  or  its  vicinity, 
most  of  whom  had  received  only  the  scantiest  at- 
tention, while  many  of  their  comrades  in  the  hos- 
pitals were  actually  in  a  dying  state  from  the  want 
of  operations  which  should  have  been  performed 

In  the  town  of  Charlottesville  alone — scattered 
through  hotels,  private  houses,  public  halls,  and 
wherever  a  blanket  could  be  spread — there  were 
more  than  twelve  hundred  cases  of  typho-malarial 
fever.  In  fact,  from  what  I  could  gather,  the 
whole  country,  from  Manassas  Junction  to  Rich- 
mond in  one  direction,  and  to  Lynchburg  in  an- 
other, was  one  vast  hospital,  filled  to  repletion  with 
the  sick  and  wounded  of  Beauregard's  victorioufj 
army.  The  unusual  percentage  of  wounded  was 
due  to  the  circumstance  that  the  battle  had  been 
fought  in  the  open  field  and  decided  by  a  succes- 
sion of  brilliant  charges  against  an  enemy  which 
fought  with  desperate  courage  and  tenacity. 

The  great  amount  of  sickness  was  attributable  to 
the  fact  that  the  force  engaged  was  almost  exclu- 
sively composed  of  delicately-reared  young  men, 
who  were  incapable  of  sustaining  the  hardships 
incident  to  camp  life,  supplemented  by  the  entire 
absence  of  such  a23pliances  as  are  essential  to  the 
comfort  of  soldiers  in  the  field,  and  by  an  utter 
neglect  of  the  laws  of  sanitation  and  hygiene. 
While  23ossessed  by  the  excitement  incident  to 
their  new  carters,  they  forgot  their  corporeal  exist- 
ence, and   gave  no  heed  to  its  demands  or  neces- 


sities,  but  reaction  came  with  victory,  and  they 
succumbed  to  its  debilitating  influences.  It  re- 
sulted, therefore,  that  for  many  weeks  regiments 
which  had  contained  their  full  complement  of  seem- 
ingly vigorous  men,  were  so  disintegrated  and  dis- 
organized as  to  render  it  impossible  for  the  army 
to  reap  the  fruits  of  a  victory  which  its  valor  had 
so  fairly  won. 

In  S23eaking  of  the  inefficiency  of  the  medical 
department  of  that  period,  I  do  not  mean  to  cast 
the  slightest  reflection  upon  the  individuals  who 
composed  it ;  for  more  competent,  devoted  and  pa- 
triotic men  never  honored  any  service.  I  only  mean 
to  imply  that  they  were  small  in  number,  deficient 
in  organization,  and  unsupplied  with  such  mater- 
ials as  the  exigencies  of  the  situation  demanded. 
Besides,  there  were  questions  of  rank,  precedent, 
scope  of  duty  and  obligations,  relations  between 
State  and  Confederate  authority,  and  a  thousand 
important  problems,  of  which  no  solution  had  then 
been  attempted,  and  without  a  settlement  of  which 
there  necessarily  resulted  both  embarrassment  and 
inefficiency.  Having  been  hastily  improvised  as  a 
corps,  and  being  left  to  crystallize  of  itself  without 
the  adventitious  assistance  of  fixed  methods  and 
definite  regulations,  it  was  immediately  called 
upon  to  face  a  responsibility  unprecedented  in  the 
magnitude  of  its  proportions  and  the  infinitude  of 
its  requirements  ;  and  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at 
that  the  medical  staff  of  the  army  found  itself  con- 
fused, embarrassed  and  paralyzed  on  that  occasion. 

How  the  questions  to  which  I  have  referred  were 
eventually  settled,  and  what  noble  work  for  science, 
humanity  and  ''the  cause"  was  accomplished  in 
the  end  under  the  influence  of  the  master  spirits 
who  controlled  it — under  the  tutelage  of  Moore, 
Guild,  Ford,  McGuire,  Coleman,  Hammond,   Sor- 

272  A  doctor's  experiences 

rell,  Gaillard,  Smith,  Owens,  Haywood,  Campbell, 
Chopin,  Logan  and  other  siirgeous  of  like  genius 
and  equal  patriotism — I  wdll  leave  to  the  coming 
historian  of  the  great  struggle  to  chronicle,  con- 
tenting myself  with  the  assertion  that,  when  the 
story  shall  be  faithfully  written,  one  of  its  proudest 
pages  will  be  reserved  for  the  services,  the  sacrifices 
and  the  triumphs  of  the  medical  staff  of  the  Con- 
federate Army. 

I  had  a  surfeit  of  surgical  experience  in  my  new 
field  of  labor,  for  I  found  myself  in  the  presence  of 
wounds  of  every  description  and  of  all  degrees  of 
gravity.  I  performed,  consequently,  a  great  num- 
ber of  operations  and  treated  an  endless  variety  of 
complications — the  development  of  which  you  can 
well  understand  in  view  of  the  circumstances 
which  I  have  already  explained. 

I  recently  received,  through  the  American 
Minister  residing  in  Paris,  the  last  volume  of  the 
Surgical  History  of  the  Rebellion  (sic,)  which  the 
authorities  at  Washington  have  prepared  and  pub- 
lished, and,  in  looking  over  it,  I  find  an  account 
of  one  of  my  own  operations,  which  I  will  reproduce 
in  these  pages,  as  it  is  interesting  in  itself  and 
because  of  its  associations  : 

^'  Private  T.  H.  Wolf,  company  D,  4th  Virginia, 
had  his  femur  shattered  in  the  battle  of  Bull  Run 
by  a  musket  ball  which  traversed  the  upper  part  of 
the  thigh  in  anantero-posterio  direction,  and  strik- 
ing the  femur  four  indie's  below  the  trochanters, 
shattered  it  quite  to  the  neck.  The  patient  was  re- 
moved to  Charlottesville  University  of  Virginia, 
and  was  received  in  the  general  hospital  at  that 
place  on  July  24th.  The  fracture  was  treated  by 
Smith's  anterior  suspensory  splint,  and  this  mode 
of  dressing  proved  very  serviceable  for  a  time. 
The  inflammatory  phenomena  did  not  abate,  how- 


€ver,  and  after  four  weeks  it  was  decided  that  the 
removal  of  the  limb  at  the  coxo-femoral  articulation 
alone  afforded  a  hope  of  saving  the  patient's  life. 
On  August  21st  the  operation  was  performed  by 
Brigadier-General  Edward  Warren,  Surgeon-Gen- 
eral of  North  Carolina,  and  was  rapidly  executed 
by  the  double-flap  method,  with  inconsiderable 
hemorrhage.  On  the  following  day  there  was 
^slight  hemorrhage.  Death  from  exhaustion  ensued 
on  August  23,  1861,  thirty  hours  after  the  opera- 
tion. The  constitutional  condition  of  the  patient 
was  unfavorable,  and  he  was  suffering  from  col- 
liquative diarrhoea." 

How  the  narration  of  this  case  recalls  the  inci- 
dents of  those  memorable  days!  I  can  see  before 
me  the  great  rotunda  filled  with  hastily-con- 
structed beds,  bearing  the  forms  of  brave  boys  who 
had  fought  and  suffered  for  their  country's  sake; 
the  weeping  women  keeping  vigils  over  their  own 
loved  ones  or  ministering  to  "somebody's  darling" 
dying  far  away  from  the  friends  who  loved  him  ; 
the  surgeons  and  their  assistants  moving  through 
the  wards,  now  uttering  a  word  of  cheer,  or  pre- 
paring for  an  operation,  or  shaking  their  heads 
omniously  as  the  cases  before  them  suggested ; 
and  the  faithful  negro  attendants  bearing  carefully 
and  sorrowfully  away  all  that  remained  of  the 
martyrs  who  had  so  recently  left  their  homes, 
filled  with  martial  ardor,  and  dreaming  of  the  hour 
when  they  would  return,  crowned  with  ;the  wreaths 
of  victory.  And  I  recall  with  especial  distinctness 
poor  Wolf,  to  whose  case  the  reference  has  been 
made,  and  whose  name  is  thus  destined  to  be  linked 
with  my  own  while  the  surgical  history  of  the  war 
shall  remain.  He  was  acountry  boy,  who  at  the  first 
tap  of  the  drum  had  left  the  j)lough  in  the  furrow 
18      ' 

274  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  hurried  to  the  front — to  receive  his  death-wound 
in  the  first  battle  of  the  war. 

At  first  his  vigorous  constitution,  sustained  by  a 
brave  and  self-reliant  spirit,  seemed  equal  to  the 
demand  made  upon  its  vitality  by  the  profuse  sup- 
puration which  ensued.  But  gradually  symptoms 
of  septic  poisoning  appeared,  and  in  the  hectic 
iiush^  the  yellow  conjunctiva,  the  rapid  emaciation, 
the  vicissitudes  of  temperature,  and  the  colliqua- 
tive diarrhoea  which  presented  themselves,  I  recog- 
nized a  crisis  which  presented  the  alternatives  of 
certain  death  without  surgical  interference,  and  the 
barest  possibility  of  saving  his  life  by  the  removal 
of  his  limb  at  the  hip  joint.  A  consultation  was 
held,  and  it  was  unanimously  determined  that  these 
fearful  alternatives  should  be  frankly  presented  to 
the  patient  in  order  that  he  might  decide  between 
them.  Few  tasks  have  fallen  to  me  more  painful 
than  that  which  constrained  me  to  inform  this 
vouns:  man  of  how  near  he  was  to  death,  and  of 
what  little  hope  remained  of  rescuing  him,  even  by 
invoking  all  the  resources  of  surgery.  He  received 
the  announcement  like  a  hero.  A  few  tears  trickled 
down  his  wasted  cheeks,  and,  taking  my  hand 
tenderly  in  his,  he  said  :  "I  am  not  afraid  to  die. 
doctor,  but  amputate  for  my  mother's  sake^  for  she 
would  like  to  see  her  boy  again."  I  felt  that  I 
would  give  my  right  arm  to  save  him,  and  I  re- 
solved that  nothing  should  be  wanting  to  make  the 
operation  itself  a  success.  I  removed  the  limb  in 
three  minutes,  and  first  compressed  and  then  li- 
gated  the  vessels  so  effectually  as  to  lose  only  a 
teacup  of  blood,  and  for  thirty  hours  I  remained  at 
his  side  watching'  ever}'  symptom,  and  endeavoring 
to  meet  it.  For  the  first  fifteen  hours  everything 
w^ent  well,  and  my  heart  began  to  thrill  with  hope 
and  exultation.     Suddenly  a  slight  capillary  hem- 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  275 

orrhage  occurred,  and  although  it  was  immediately 
arrested  by  the  application  of  cold  compresses,  a 
condition  of  depression  resulted  which  gradually 
deepened  into  a  collapse,  and  the  poor  fellow 
breathed  his  last  a  few  hours  afterward.  Had  I 
known  then  as  much  as  I  do  now  of  the  value  of 
the  transfusion  of  blood,  I  should  have  resorted  to 
it  as  affording  another  chance  at  least  to  the  poor 
fellow  in  his  dire  extremity,  for  I  have  since  wit- 
nessed wonderful  results  from  it  in  the  most  des- 
perate circumstances.  As  I  write  these  lines  Paris 
is  threatened  with  an  invasion  of  cholera,  and 
should  it  arrive  I  am  resolved  to  treat  such  cases  as 
may  fall  into  my  hands  by  introducing  morphia 
and  sulphuric  ether  hypodermically,  administering 
oxygen  gas  by  inhalation,  and  transfusing  the 
blood  of  some  healthy  individual. 

Of  course  I  had  no  reason  to  be  surprised  at  the 
fatal  conclusion  of  this  hip-joint  operation.  Under 
the  most  favorable  circumstances  the  mortality  from 
it  is  very  great.  All  of  the  operations  of  this  char- 
acter performed  by  the  English  surgeons  in  the 
Crimea  terminated  fatally,  while  of  the  one  hun- 
dred and  eighty-three  cases  collected  by  Otis  from 
the  statistics  furnished  by  all  countries,  one  hundred 
and  sixty-seven  died  and  only  sixteen  recovered, 
giving  a  ratio  of  mortality  of  91.2  per  cent. 

The  conduct  of  the  wounded  excited  my  most 
profound  admiration.  A  sentiment  of  genuine 
heroism  pervaded  those  southern  boys  which  was 
simply  sublime.  Each  regarded  liimself  as  a  mar- 
tyr to  a  holy  cause,  and  seemed  proud  of  the  blood 
which  he  had  shed  for  it  and  even  of  the  death 
which  he  was  called  upon  to  die  in  its  behalf.  Un- 
der the  spell  of  this  patriotic  enthusiasm  there  was 
no  murmuring  because  of  the  want  of  comforts  and 
conveniences,  or  over    the   fate    which   condemned 

276  A  doctor's  experiences 

them  to  suffering  and  to  mutilation,  or  at  the  de- 
cree which  banished  them  forever  from  home  and 
friends  and  comrades,  but  with  brave  hearts  and 
smiling  countenances  they  met  their  doom,  sus- 
tained by  the  reflection  that  they  had  done  their 
duty  like  men  and  soldiers — that  they  had  fought 
■and  bled  for  the  land  which  they  loved. 

I  was  likewise  delighted  with  the  manner  in 
which  the  professors  demeaned  themselves.  Some 
of  them  had  entered  the  army  at  the  first  call  for 
volunteers,  and  were  "  at  the  front"  when  the  ava- 
lanche of  wounded  and  dying  men  overwhelmed 
the  University,  but  those  who  remained  behind 
acted  w^ell  their  part  in  this  trying  emergency. 
Their  devotion  to  the  suffering  soldiers,  their  cour- 
tesy to  the  medical  officers  on  duty  and  their  sym- 
pathy for  those  who  came  in  search  of  their  stricken 
relatives  well  illustrated  the  virtues  which  have 
so  long  distinguished  the  Virginia  people,  and  es- 
tablished for  themselves  proud  reputations  as  pa- 
triots and  humanitarians.  They  welcomed  every 
Confederate  soldier  as  a  friend,  and  nursed  him 
with  absolute  fidelity  and  tenderness,  while  their 
private  houses  were  thrown  open  and  a  hospitality 
was  dispensed  from  them  which  knew  neither  limit 
nor  discrimination.  Having  known  me  in  my 
student  days  their  reception  was  most  cordial,  and 
the  recollection  of  it  has  always  been  a  green  spot 
in  my  memory.  I  particularly  recall  the  courtesy 
extended  to  me  by  Professors  Davis,  Minor  and 
Scheie  de  Vere,  and  while  leaving  the  record  of 
my  gratitude  to  them  I  can  but  express  a  regret 
that  the  opportunity  has  never  occurred  for  a  prac- 
tical manifestation  of  my  appreciation  of  their 

Among  the  University  soldiers   two    especially 
distinguished   themselves.      I    refer    to    Professor 


Charles  Venable  and  to  Professor  Lewis  M.  Cole- 
man— tlie  former  a  colonel  on  General  Lee's  staff, 
and  the  latter  the  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  1st  Vir- 
ginia regiment  of  artillery.  No  man  in  the  Army 
of  Northern  Virginia  saw  more  of  active  service 
or  commanded  a  larger  share  of  the  confidence 
of  its  great  leader  than  Colonel  Venable,  and  he 
still  lives,  an  ornament  to  his  alma  mater,  an  honor 
to  the  land  of  his  nativity,  and  one  of  the  brightest 
lights  in  the  world  of  science.  Unfortunately 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Coleman  sealed  his  devotion  to 
the  cause  in  his  life's  blood,  but  not  until  he  had 
exhibited  qualities  as  a  soldier  not  less  conspicu- 
ous than  those  which  in  private  life  rendered  him 
a  model  as  a  teacher  and  a  paragon  as  a  gentle- 

Colonel  Venable  was  one  of  my  classmates,  and 
after  a  friendship  of  more  than  thirty  years'  dura- 
tion I  can  but  bear  emphatic  testimony  to  the  gen- 
iality of  his  disposition,  the  loyalty  of  his  charac- 
ter, and  the  depth  and  grasp  of  his  intellect.  One 
of  the  most  pleasant  incidents  of  my  life  abroad 
has  been  a  visit  which  he  recently  made  to  Paris. 
How  "  the  old  time  came  over  me"  when  I  saw 
again  his  smiling  face  and  heard  his  merry  laugh 
and  listened  to  the  stories  of  college  days,  and  of 
the  good  fellows  we  had  known  and  loved  when  we 
w^ere  boys  together.  What  a  flood  of  memories 
his  very  name  unsealed,  recollections  of  the  dreams 
of  youth,  of  the  struggles  of  manhood,  of  the  in- 
cidents of  the  times  which  tried  men's  souls,  and 
of  the  faces  and  forms  of  those  who  were  once  so 
full  of  hope  and  promise,  but  who  have  been  sleep- 
ing many  a  long  year  beneath  the  sod  !  To  meet 
him  thus  in  this  land  of  strangers  after  so  many 
years  of  separation  was  a  source  of  irifinite  pleas- 
ure— it  was  like  the  continuation  of  some  interest- 

278  A  doctor's  experiences 

ing  story,  tlie  reading  of  which  had  been  broken  off 
in  the  "  lang  syne.'" 

I  was  not  so  intimately  acquainted  with  Colonel 
Coleman,  but  I  knew  him  well  enough  to  appreciate 
his  character  and  to  mourn  his  loss. 

With  his  brother,  Dr.  Eobert  Coleman,  I  was  on 
intimate  terms  for  man}^  years — from  our  first 
meeting  at  the  University  in  1850  to  his  death  in 
February  last,  and  I  am  sure  you  will  excuse  me 
for  paying  a  passing  tribute  to  his  memory. 

The  two  brothers,  Lewis  and  Robert  Coleman, 
were  of  a  type  which  is  especially  Virginian,  and 
they  resembled  each  other  wonderfully  in  mind, 
character  and  person.  As  I  knew  Robert  he  was 
above  the  medium  height,  but  so  redundant  of  adi- 
pose as  to  appear  below  it.  His  head  was  large, 
symmetrical,  and  covered  with  curling  flaxen  hair; 
his  face  was  like  the  moon  at  full  term,  and  was 
illuminated  by  the  brightest  of  blue  eyes  and  the 
sunniest  of  smiles,  and  his  voice  was  at  once  deep, 
sonorous  and  peculiarly  sympathetic.  His  flow  of 
spirits  was  spontaneous  and  irresistible  ;  his  wit 
was  as  bright  as  a  blade  of  Damascus  and  as  trench- 
ant ;  his  intellect  was  equally  logical  and  rhetori- 
cal ;  his  thoughts  instinctively  weaving  themselves 
into  a  chain  of  iron  which  seemed  only  a  wreath 
of  flowers,  and  his  bosom  was  a  nursery  in  which 
all  kindly  sentiments  and  generous  impulses  and 
exalted  virtues  grew  in  the  richest  luxuriance.  I 
never  knew  him  to  have  an  enemy,  for  calumny 
seemed  to  recognize  him  as  a  mark  too  exalted  for 
its  shafts,  while  malignity  transformed  itself  into 
admiration  under  the  spell  of  his  frank  and  chival- 
rous spirit.  Alike  in  public  positions  and  in  pri- 
vate relations,  the  inherent  loyalty  of  his  nature 
loomed  up  so  conspicuously — made  itself  so  felt 
and  appreciated — that  ever}"  man  who  was  brought 


into  contact  with  him  esteemed  it  an  honor  to  be 
called  his  friend  and  a  badge  of  respectability  to 
possess  his  confidence. 

Such  was  Robert  Coleman,  and  so  he  will  be  re- 
membered— an  honor  to  the  State  which  he  loved 
to  idolatry,  to  the  profession  whose  noblest  attri- 
butes he  illustrated,  and  to  that  Christianity  which 
he  gloried  in  professing.  He  acted  well  his  part 
on  earth  and  he  has  gone  to  receive  his  reward  in 

Among  my  professional  colleagues  was  a  gentle- 
man who  bore  an  honored  name,  and  upon  whom 
nature  had  also  impressed  the  stamp  of  her  true 
nobility.  I  refer  to  Dr.  Orlando  Fairfax,  who 
had  left  his  extensive  practice  and  his  comfort- 
able home  in  Alexandria  to  devote  himself  to  the 
cause  of  the  Confederacy.  His  father  was  right- 
fully Lord  Fairfax,  but,  being  an  American  citi- 
zen, he  followed  the  tradition  of  his  family  and 
never  claimed  the  title,  though  it  is  still  recognized 
in  the  Peerage  of  England.  It  is  said  that  "blood 
will  tell,''  and  it  never  expressed  itself  more  dis- 
tinctly than  in  the  courtly  bearing,  the  noble  sim- 
plicity and  the  fidelity  to  the  requirements  of  duty 
which  distinguished  Dr.  Fairfax,  I  regret  to 
record  that  he  was  called  upon  to  bear  a  great  af- 
fliction during  the  war  in  the  loss  of  his  son  Ran- 
dolph, a  most  promising  young  man,  who  served 
with  conspicuous  gallantry  as  a  private,  and  was 
killed  by  a  fragment  of  the  same  shell  which  gave 
Colonel  Coleman  his  death  wound. 

I  met  also  for  the  first  time  thsit  rara-avis  in  the 
field  of  Southern  medicine,  a  female  physician,  in 
the  person  of  Miss  Moon,  a  native  of  Albemarle 
County,  Virginia,  and  a  graduate  of  the  Woman's 
Medical  dollege  of  Philadelphia.  She  was  a  lady 
of  high  character   and   of  fine   intelligence,   and, 

280  A  doctor's  experiences 

tliongh  she  failed  to  distinguish  herself  as  a  phy- 
sician, she  made  an  excellent  nurse,  and  did  good 
service  in  the  wards  of  the  hospital.  Unfortun- 
ately for  her  professional  prospects  she  fell  in  love 
with  one  of  our  assistant  surgeons,  and  compro- 
mised matters  by  marrying  him  and  devoting  her- 
self to  the  care  of  her  own  babies — like  a  sensible 
woman.  Imagine,  if  you  can,  the  position  of  this 
young  lady,  with  much  of  native  modesty  and  re- 
finement in  her  composition,  in  a  hospital  of 
wounded  soldiers,  and  with  only  medical  officers 
as  her  companions,  and  you  will  have  eliminated 
a  most  potent  argument  against  the  inappropriate- 
ness  of  a  woman  becoming  a  doctor.  In  my  hum- 
ble judgment,  no  one  possessing  a  womb  or  en- 
dowed with  the  attributes  of  femininity  ought  to 
dream  of  entering  the  ranks  of  the  medical  profes- 
sion, and  Dr.  Moon's  experience  at  Charlottesville 
teaches  a  lesson  in  this  regard  which  her  aspiring 
sisters  would  do  well  to  heed  and  appreciate. 

The  possibility  of  matrimony  and  the  probabil- 
ity of  maternity — the  ends  for  which  women  were 
created — raise  a  barrier  in  the  pathway  of  those 
who  would  thus  enter  upon  the  domain  of  medicine,, 
which  they  should  regard  as  nature's  protest  against 
their  intrusion.  In  a  word,  women  were  made  not 
to  administer  drugs  nor  to  amputate  limbs  nor  ta 
engage  in  the  arduous  and  exciting  incidents  of  a 
doctor's  career,  but  to  fill  the  sacred  role  of  sister, 
wife  and  mother — to  render  homes  happy,  and  to 
sustain,  cheer  and  comfort  men  in  the  struggle  of 

I  also  had  the  pleasure  of  renewing  my  acquaint- 
ance with  Mr.  William  Wirtenbaker,  who  for 
more  than  thirty  years  was  the  college  librarian 
and  the  secretary  of  the  faculty.  He  was  a  char- 
acter sui  generis,  and  yet  as  good  and  lo^-al  a  man 


as  ever  lived.  He  loved  the  books  under  his  charge 
as  if  they  were  his  children,  and  he  watched  over 
them  as  tenderly.  He  could  give  the  historj^  of  all 
who  had  attended  the  various  schools,  and  could 
recite  incidents  of  their  college  lives  which  even 
they  had  forgotten.  He  remembered  the  name  and 
the  physiognomy  of  every  matriculant,  and  he 
could  recognize  and  locate  him  without  re- 
gard to  the  date  of  his  matriculation.  He  had 
signed  the  diplomas  of  a  large  majority  of  the 
graduates,  and  he  watched  the  careers  of  '^  his 
boys"  with  intense  solicitude,  rejoicing  in  their 
triumphs  or  grieving  at  their  misfortunes,  as  if 
they  were  his  own.  Loais  XIV  gave  expression  to 
his  royal  egotism  in  the  memorable  words  "  I'etat 
c'est  moi,''  and  the  old  librarian,  in  the  intensity 
of  his  devotion  to  the  institution  and  the  innocent 
vanity  of  his  guileless  nature,  believed  that  he  and 
the  University  were  one,  and  he  habitually  spoke 
and  acted  as  if  the  identification  was  complete. 
He  certainly  loved  it  more  than  himself,  and  would 
willingly  have  sacrificed  his  life  to  advance  its  in- 
terests. In  this  sense,  and  notwithstanding  hisloy- 
alty  to  his  section,  it  nearly  broke  his  heart  to  see 
its  sacred  halls  conyerted  into  hospitals,  and  filled 
with  regiments  of  wounded  soldiers  rather  than 
with  throngs  of  enthusiastic  students.  He  re- 
solved consequently  that  one  department  at  least 
should  maintain  its  integrity  despite  of  war's 
alarms  and  obligations,  and,  true  to  the  habits  of  a 
life-time,  he  daily  walked  with  stately  tread  to  the 
library  and  went  on  duty  there  as  if  the  school  were 
in  full  blast  and  nothing  had  occurred  to  interrupt 
the  current  of  its  curriculum. 

His  sons  graduated  with  distinction  in  the  Uni- 
versity and  fought  gallantly  in  their  country's 
cause.  One  fills  a  soldier's  grave  in  the  college 
cemetery,  another  achieved  a  reputation  during  th 

282  A  doctor's  experiences 

war  which  has  since  made  him  a  leading  man  in 
Virginia,  and  all  have  done  honor  to  the  good  old 
man  from  whom  they  inherited  that  strict  con- 
scientiousness and  devotion  to  duty  which  were  the 
predominating  traits  of  his  character. 

He  lived  to  be  an  octogenarian,  and  died  only 
recently,  universally  honored  and  lamented. 

So  soon  as  I  reached  Charlottesville  I  sent  for 
my  family  and  located  them  at  Carr's  Hill,  a  beau- 
tiful spot  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the  Univer- 
sity. We  were  delightfully  situated  there,  as  the 
house  was  commodious,  the  grounds  were  beautiful 
and  the  company  was  select  and  charming.  Under 
the  same  roof  was  the  Fairfax  family,  and  the 
Misses  Gary,  of  Baltimore,  two  lovely  girls  wllo 
distinguished  themselves  by  their  devotion  to  the 
South.  The  elder  of  these  sisters.  Miss  Hettie, 
married  General  Pegram,  one  of  the  bravest  sol- 
diers produced  by  the  Confederacy,  and  wore  the 
weeds  of  widowhood  before  her  orange  flowers  had 
faded.  The  first  time  that  I  ever  heard  the  soul- 
inspiring  words  of  "  My  Maryland"  they  were 
sung  by  her,  and  as  her  voice  was  exquisite,  her 
bosom  aglow  with  patriotic  fervor,  and  her  face 
radiant  with  the  rarest  beauty,  the  song  inspired 
and  entranced   me  beyond  expression. 

She  has  remarried  after  a  protracted  widowhood 
and  many  an  earnest  protest  against  it,  and,  for 
one,  I  wish  her  the  fullest  measure  of  happiness 
in  return  for  the  pleasure  which  she  gave  me  by 
sino'ing  ''  Mv  Maryland'"  at  Carr's  Hill  in  '62. 

You  have  often  heard  me  speak  with  enthusiasm 
of  Professor  John  Staige  Davis,  of  the  University 
of  Virginia,  and  I  should  be  an  unreliable  histor- 
ian if  I  failed  to  refer  to  him  in  this  connection. 
He  has  grown  older  of  course  since  we  separated 
in  1850,  but  his  heart  has  not  changed  in  the  least 
degree.      Taking  him  for  all  in  all,  I   have  never 


known  a  better  man  or  a  more  attractive  lecturer. 
'No  one  has  done  more  to  add  to  the  popularity  of 
the  University  or  to  maintain  its  high  character  as 
a  school  of  learning  than  he.  I  have  never  met 
with  a  physician  who  had  studied  at  the  University 
without  finding  him  a  warm  friend  and  an  enthu- 
siastic admirer  of  Dr.  Davis,  and  I  have  yet  to 
hear  the  first  word  of  criticism  or  censure  respect- 
ing him. 

He  held  a  surgeon's  commission  during  the  war, 
and  many  a  suffering  soldier  has  reason  to  thank 
heaven  for  the  blessing  of  his  skillful  treatment 
and  his  faithful  ministrations. 

He  is  yet  spared  to  give  credit  to  his  alma  mater, 
to 'add  dignity  to  his  profession,  and  to  do  honor 
to  Virginia — the  land  of  his  birth  and  the  home 
of  his  warmest  affections — and  I  sincerely  hope  that 
many  years  of  usefulness  and  happiness  are  still 
reserved  for  him. 

Professor  John  B.  Minor,  in  utrumque  paratus, 
devoted  himself  to  the  care  of  the  stricken  sol- 
diers and  the  consolation  of  their  sorrowing  friends, 
and  won  from  both  a  meed  of  praise  and  gratitude 
which  will  prove  a  crown  of  honor  while  the  record 

Professor  James  L.  Cabell,  the  surgeon  in  charge, 
discharged  the  onerous  duties  of  his  position  with 
unfaltering  zeal  and  conspicuous  ability,  and 
thus  added  fresh  luster  to  the  reputation  which  he 
had  already  won  as  a  teacher,  a  scientist  and  a 

In  a  word,  there  was  no  faltering  upon  the  part 
of  any  one,  and  all — whether  male  or  female,  white 
or  black — who  had  work  to  do,  did  it  nobly  and 
faithfully.  The  Southern  people  can  never  forget 
the  services  rendered  to  them  by  the  University  of 
Virginia  in  that  sad  hour  of  their  suffering  and 


284  A  doctor's  experiexces 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

After  several  months  of  service  at  the  University 
and  when  only  fever  cases  remained  for  treatment, 
I  became  weary  of  the  life  there  and  applied  for  new 
orders.  Fortunately  I  had  won  the  confidence  of 
Surgeon  L.  Guild,  an  officer  of  distinction  who  had 
resigned  from  the  United  States  Army,  and  of 
whom  I  shall  have  much  to  say  hereafter,  and 
through  his  kind  offices  I  was  transferred  to  Rich- 
mond, and  made  a  member  of  a  board  of  inspec- 
tion and  supervision  of  which  he  was  president. 

The  other  members  of  this  board  were  Surgeon 
F.  Sorrell  and  Surgeon  J.  P.  Logan — two  thor- 
ough ojentlemen  and  accomplished  .physicians. 

It  was  our  daily  duty  first  to  visit  and  inspect 
the  hospitals  of  Richmond,  and  then  to  devote  our- 
selves to  the  examination  of  all  soldiers  who  had 
been  recommended  for  furlough  or  discharge  by 
the  medical  officers  in  the  field. 

This  work  was  exceedingly  onerous,  and  yet  I 
was  delighted  with  it,  both  because  of  the  agree- 
able society  of  my  colleagues  and  of  the  amount 
of  pi'actical  experience  which  it  afforded,  as  we 
were  brought  in  constant  contact  with  the  wounded 
and  had  an  opportunity  of  operating  whenever  we 
thought  proper. 

The  Spottswood  Hotel,  at  which  I  lived  with  my 
wife  and  child,  was  the  chief  rendezvous  of  the  offi- 


cers  and  officials,  and  I  had  an  opportunity  of  see- 
ing much  of  the  society  of  the  Confederate  court. 
I  have  neither  the  space  nor  the  inclination  to  draw 
a  picture  of  the  social  life  of  Richmond  during  the 
early  days  of  the  war,  and  I  will  content  myself 
with  the  observation  that  there  is  a  plentiful  sup- 
ply of  human  nature  in  men  and  women  wherever 
they  are  found  and  whatever  may  be  the  circum- 
stances by  which  they  are  surrounded.  Jealousy, 
too,  was  born  with  the  primeval  man  or  more  prob- 
4ibly  with  the  original  woman,  and  it  will  only 
die  with  the  last  ''  survivor."  Resurgam  has 
been  its  motto  from  the  beginning,  and  so  it  will 
be  to  the  end,  in  defiance  of  revolutions,  whether 
political,  social  or  what  not.  If  heart  burnings 
were  somewhat  indulged  in  and  gossip  did  "un- 
fold its  tale"  occasionally,  they  were  amply  atoned 
for  by  the  display  of  virtues  which  should  have 
done  honor  to  any  race  or  epoch,  and  by  the  per- 
formance of  deeds  upon  which  heaven  will  smile 
approvingly  while  the  record  endures. 

The  devotion  which  the  women  of  the  South  dis- 
played for  "  the  cause"  and  the  attentions  which 
they  lavished  upon  the  sick  and  wounded  ha'^e  no 
]3arallel  in  history.  These  attentions,  though  ori- 
ginating in  the  purest  motives,  were  sometimes 
€arried  to  extremes,  interfering  with  the  surgeon's 
duties  and  militating  against  the  best  interests  of 
the  patient.  Quite  an  amusing  story  was  told  at 
the  time  apropos  of  this  excess  of  zeal  and  super- 
fluity of  ministrations.  It  was  circulated  in  the 
form  of  a  dialogue  between  a  sympathetic  lady  and 
-a  wounded  soldier,  and  as  such  I  will  reproduce  it 
here  : 

Sympathetic  lady  :  "  My  dear  young  man,  will 
jou  let  me  wash  your  face  this  morning  ?" 


Wounded  soldier  :  ''I  am  very  tired  and  sleepy. 
Please  don't  disturb  me.," 

Sympathetic  lady  :  "  But  I  do  feel  so  much  for 
you,  my  poor  boy,  and  I  want  so  much  to  wash 
your  face,  just  this  once." 

Wounded  soldier  :  "But  my  wound  pains  me, 
and  I  would  like  to  be  let  alone." 

Sympathetic  lady  :  "I  must  do  something  for 
you  and  for  '  the  cause ;'  do  let  me  wash  your  face  for 
your  mother's  sake." 

Wounded  soldier:  "Well,  madam,  if  you  insist 
upon  it,  wash  away,  but  you  are  just  the  sixteenth 
lady  who  has  washed  my  face  to-day,  and  all  for 
my  mother's  sake." 

And,  carried  away  by  her  enthusiasm,  she 
washed  his  face,  believing  that  she  was  doing  God's 
service  by  the  act.  ^ 

Of  course  it  was  almost  sacrilegious  thus  to  make 
a  jest  of  so  holy  a  thing  as  woman's  sympathy  for 
the  afflicted,  but  soldiers  are  the  gayest  of  human 
beings,  and  their  propensity  to  laugh  at  every- 
thing, even  amid  the  most  solemn  surroundings^ 
seems  to  be  absolutely  irresistible.  As  an  illustra- 
tion of  this  I  will  tell  one  of  Governor  Vance's 
stories  :  He  relates  that  once  having  heard  a  regi- 
ment which  was  in  line  of  battle,  and  momentarily 
expecting  an  attack,  give  way  to  the  loudest  shouts 
and  the  wildest  merriment,  he  stopped  a  ragged 
veteran  who  was  passing  by,  and  asked  what  was 
"  the  meaning  of  all  the  rumpus   over  the  way?" 

"  Well,  now,  you  see/'  replied  the  soldier,  "I  haint 
been  thereabouts,  and  I  cant  zackly  tell^  but  I  reckon 
as  how  them  boys  is  either  flushed  up  a  '  molly- 
cotton-tail'  (the  popular  name  for  a  rabbit)  or  old 
Stonewall  is  a  passing  by." 

But,  seriously  the  kindness  displayed  by  the 
women  of  the  South  toward  the  soldiers  of  the  Con- 


federacy  was  most  beautiful — was  sublime.  With- 
out regard  to  the  danger  incurred,  to  tlie  severity  of 
the  service  involved,  or  to  the  sacrifice  demanded, 
they  were  always  prepared  to  minister  to  the  sick 
and  wounded  compatriots,  and  with  a  fidelity  which 
is  without  a  precedent  in  the  annals  of  warfare. 

Nearly  twenty  years  have  passed  since  those 
noble  deeds  were  done,  and  many  who  participated 
in  them  are  now  saints  in  heaven,  but  their  coun- 
try alike  in  the  days  of  its  ruin  and  of  its  recupera- 
tion has  kept  the  fires  of  gratitude  brightly  burn- 
ing in  their  memory,  as  it  will  delight  to  do 
throughout  the  coming  generations,  until  the  last 
wave  of  time  has  broken  upon  the  shores  of  eter- 

After  several  months  of  work  in  Richmond  I 
was  sent  for  by  the  surgeon-general  and  offered  a 
position  on  a  medical  examining  board  which  he 
was  about  to  establish  in  North  Carolina. 

Love  for  my  native  State  has  always  been  a  part 
of  my  religion,  and  as  agreeably  situated  as  I  was 
in  Richmond  I  eagerly  embraced  the  opportunity 
to  return  to  North  Carolina,  and  to  serve  her 

In  a  short  time,  therefore,  I  found  myself  installed 
at  Golds  borough,  doing  duty  on  this  board,  in 
association  with  Dr.  Wyatt  M.  Brown,  a  brother 
tar  heel  and  a  splendid  fellow,  and  two  others 
whose  names  I  will  not  give  for  reasons  which  will 
appear  in  the  progress  of  this  narrative. 

Our  business  was  to  examine  all  medical  officers 
serving  in  the  department,  and  such  medical  men 
as  desired  positions  in  the  army.  This  work, 
though  pleasant  enough  in  itself,  was  rendered  ex- 
ceedingly disagreeable  because  of  the  insane  preju- 
dice which  the  chairman  of  the  board  entertained 
against  North   Carolina,  and  of  his  morbidly   irri- 

288  A  doctor's  experiences 

table  temper — the  result  I  think  of  chronic  dys- 
pepsia. He  only  knew  of  the  standard  of  attain- 
ment existing  in  the  old  army,  and  he  voted  gen- 
erally against  those  who  failed  to  come  up  to  its 
requirements,  especially  if  they  chanced  to  be  North 
Carolinians.  As  a  large  majority  of  the  appli- 
cants had  served  for  a  long  time  in  the  field,  where 
text-books  cquld  not  be  obtained,  they  were  neces- 
sarily deficient  in  technicalities  and  details,  and 
hence  the  application  of  so  rigid  a  test  as  that  in- 
sisted upon  by  the  chairman  was  not  only  unfair 
per  se,  but  was  calculated  to  deprive  the  army  of 
many  of  its  best  medical  officers.  The  seances  of 
the  board  were  consequently  only  a  series  of  dis- 
putes, in  which  Dr.  Brown  and  I  were  arrayed  on 
the  side  of  liberality  and  common  sense,  while  the 
other  members  adhered  to  exacting  an  impossible 
standard  of  the  United  States  Army. 

It  so  happened  that  once  every  week  our  morbid 
associate  took  a  dose  of  purgative  medicine  and 
that  on  the  succeeding  day  he  was  usually  some- 
what less  disagi-eeable  to  his  associates  and  rather 
more  lenient  toward  those  who  presented  themselves 
for  examination.  We  endeavored  therefore — in  the 
interest  of  peace  and  justice — to  persuade  him  that 
the  condition  of  his  health  demanded  the  exhibi- 
tion of  a  daily  cathartic,  but  the  spirit  of  antagon- 
ism was  so  rampant  in  his  bosom  that  he  not  only 
refused  to  take  our  advice,  but  gave  up  his  weekly 
pill  of  aloes  and  colocynth  as  well — to  the  infinite 
annoyance  of  his  colleagues  and  the  sorrow  of  every 
candidate  who  came  forward  during  that  period  of 
protracted  constipation  and  morbid  irritability. 

All  this  was  unpleasant  enough  in  itself,  but  it 
was  rendered  the  more  intolerable  by  the  fact  that 
we  were  without  redress  or  remedy,  and  were  com- 
pelled to  submit  to  his  prejudices  and  peculiarities. 


Luckily,  the  enforced  absence  of  liis  coadjutor 
finally  gave  us  the  majority,  and  saved  the  medical 
corps  of  the >  department  from  disgrace  and  deci- 

Having  received  information  that  New  Berne 
was  about  to  be  attacked,  we  obtained  authority  to 
visit  it  in  order  to  render  assistance  to  the  wounded. 
We  slept  at  the  Gaston  House,  and  were  awakened 
early  by  heavy  firing  in  the  distance,  but  finding 
it  impossible  to  obtain  conveyances  to  the  battle- 
field— which  was  about  four  miles  from  the  town 
and  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river — we  went 
to  the  Academy^  where  the  medical  director  had 
established  his  head-quarters. 

The  firing  continued,  increasing  in  violence  and 
distinctness  continually,  and  the  wounded  soon  be- 
gan to  arrive.  As  we  were  busily  engaged  with 
the  work  before  us,  and  the  reports  from  the  field 
were  favorable,  we  never  dreamed  of  danger  to 
ourselves  or  to  those  under  our  charge.  Suddenly 
a  shell  of  large  caliber  exploded  in  such  close  prox- 
imity to  the  hospital  that  some  of  the  fragments 
struck  its  roof. 

"  My  God,"  cried  the  medical  director,  "  the 
fleet  has  passed  the  obstructions  and  is  shelling  the 
town  ;  we  shall  all  be.  killed,"  and  rushing  to  the 
door,  he  mounted  his  horse  and  fled  precipitately. 

Some  of.  the  surgeons  became  demoralized  for  a 
moment,  and  seemed  disposed  to  follow  his  ex- 
ample, but  placing  myself  against  the  door,  I  pro- 
tested against  their  departure  most  emphatically. 
This  decisive  action  had  the  desired  effect.  They 
immediately  returned  to  their  work  and  assured  me 
of  their  determination  to  stand  by  it  to  the  last 
extremity- -and  they  did  so.  We  then  went  to  the 
front  door  to  reconnoiter,  and  witnessed  a  scene 
which  is  stamped  indelibly  upon  my  memory. 

290  A  doctor's  experiences 

A  portion  of  the  town  was  in  flames,  and  vol- 
umes of  dense  smoke  darkened  the  air  :  the  streets 
were  filled  with  fugitives,  some  mounted,  others  on 
foot,  rushing  madly  toward  the  station  ;  women 
and  children  were  pouring  out  of  the  houses,  wring- 
ing their  hands,  crying  '^fire"  and  uttering  the 
wildest  shrieks  ;  and  eveything  was  in  a  state  of 
utter  chaos  and  confusion. 

Just  at  that  moment  a  train  of  open  cars,  laden 
with  commissary  stores,  and  under  the  charge  of 
an  officer  with  whom  I  chanced  to  be  acquainted, 
came  moving  slowly  from  the  direction  of  the 
battle-field,  and  stopped  within  a  few  yards  of  the 

Rushing  to  this  officer,  I  told  him  of  the  flight 
of  the  director,  and  earnestly  implored  permission 
to  place  the  wounded  upon  the  train  in  order  to 
prevent  them  from  falling  into  the  hands  of  the 
enemy.  He  kindly  consented,  informing  me  at  the 
same  time  that  only  a  small  force — a  si  ogle  de- 
tachment of  marines  fi'om  the  gun-boat  which  had 
passed  the  obstructions — was  actually  in  the  town, 
but  that  our  troops  were  in  full  retreat,  closely  fol- 
lowed by  the  enemy.  Improvising  stretchers  from 
doors  and  window-blinds,  and  seizing  some  wheel- 
barrows which  happened  to  be  convenient,  I  soon 
had  the  wounded  placed  upon  the  cars,  and  made 
as  comfortable  as  the  circumstances  would  allow 
upon  mattresses  and  under  blankets  taken  from  the 
hospital.  Before  I  could  get  upon  the  train,  how- 
ever, it  suddenly  moved  off,  and  I  was  left  amid 
the  throng  of  frightened  and  fleeing  fugitives. 
Hurrying  along  with  the  rest,  I  arrived  at  the  de- 
pot only  in  time  to  see  the  last  train  disappear  in 
the  distance,  and  to  find  myself  apparently  deprived 
of  all  means  of  escape.  Just  as  I  regarded  my 
capture  as  certain,  1  had  the  good  luck  to  find   a 


riderless  horse — a  long-legged,  raw-bony  gray, 
which  some  soldier  had  abandoned  for  a  place  upon 
the  train — and  climbing  into  the  vacant  saddle,  I 
dashed  out  of  town,  with  my  dyspeptic  confrere 
mounted  behind  me  and  at  a  speed  which  would 
have  4;old  in  the  Derby  or  the  Grand  Prix. 

The  scene  upon  the  road  beggars  description — it 
was  the  comhle  of  all  that  is  expressed  in  the  word 
panic.  For  miles  1  encountered  a  confused  mass  of 
officers,  soldiers  and  civilians,  mingled  indiscrimi- 
nately together — some  without  coats,  others  hat- 
less,  and  a  majority  having  no  arms — in  a  state  of 
utter  demoralization  ;  women  and  children  hurry- 
ing helter-skelter  on  foot  or  in  every  possible 
vehicle,  frightened  nearly  out  of  their  wits  ;  and 
carts,  wagons,  carriages  and  conveyances  of  every 
imaginable  description  and  condition,  laden  with 
household  goods — the  Lares  and  Penates  of  many 
a  ruined  family — hurrying  along  as  fast  as  their 
lashed  and  imprecated  teams  could  drag  them  ; 
while  the  earth  was  strewn  with  arms,  accouter- 
ments,  hats,  uniforms,  domestic  utensils  and  here 
and  there  a  jaded  man  and  a  foundered  horse. 
Every  few  moments  the  cry  would  sweep  along  the 
disjointed  line  :  "  The  Yankee  cavalry  is  coming," 
and  the  surging  mass  would  make  a  still  more 
desperate  effort  to  increase  its  pace,  or  would  scat- 
ter into  the  bushes  on  either  side  of  the  road  like 
a  covey  of  frightened  partridges. 

A  panic  must  be  witnessed  and  participated  in  to 
be  a]3preciated,  and  even  then  it  cannot  be  described. 
The  men  who  were  thus  flying  in  terror  from  an 
imaginary  danger: — for  the  enemy  possessed  no 
cavalry,  and  never  dared  to  leave  the  town — proved 
eventually  the  bravest  soldiers  the  world  ever 
saw.  From  the  Valley  to  Appomattox  they  left  a 
record  of  their  heroism  which  the  nations  have  re- 

-"29 2  A  doctor's  experiences 

'garded  with  admiration,  and  their  own  people  will 
treasure  as  the  most  precious  of  heir-looms. 

Panics  are  nothing  more  or  less  than  a  species  of 
•emotional  insanity  temporaily  affecting  masses, 
binder  the  influence  of  which  manhood  succumbs, 
reason  is  silenced,  and  the  fear  of  death  prei:lom- 
inates  to  the  exclusion  of  every  other  sentiment  and 

I  can  only  express  the  hope  that  it  may  never  be 
my  misfortune  to  witness  another,  and  certainly  not 
to  be  called  on  to  participate  in  one,  for  I  have  had 
sufficient  experience  in  that  line  to  last  for  a  life- 
time— with  a  lap  for  the  ""other  side  of  Jordan"  of 
no  insignificant  proportions. 

When  about  six  miles  from  New  Berne  I  had  the 
good  fortune  to  overtake  a  confrere  traveling  in  a 
Ibuggy  drawn  by  a  fine  team  of  horses,  and  I  gladly 
accepted  an  invitation  to  take  a  seat  with  him, 
leaving  the  well-blown  charger  to  the  sole  posses- 
sion of  my  fellow-passenger,  the  aforesaid  chairman 
•of  the  medical  examining  board. 

At  Kinston,  thirty  miles  from  New  Berne,  I 
•stopped  for  the  night,  all  fear  of  the  '^Yankee 
■cavalry"  having  departed,  and  on  the  succeeding 
•day  traveled  by  tram  to  Goldsborough,  which  I 
found  filled  to  repletion  with  fugitives  from  the 
fight,  who  in  some  mysterious  way  had  managed 
to  make  better  time  than  the  locomotive  and  to  ar- 
rive in  advance  of  me.  Among  the  recent  arrivals 
was  the  fugacious  medical  director,  who  it  seems 
was  one  of  the  first  to  enter  the  town,  bringing  with 
him  marvelous  stories  of  his  own  gallant  conduct 
under  fire  and  of  the  capture  and  destruction  of  his 
comrades — the  entire  retreating  army  of  General 

On  the  following  day  General  Joseph  R.  Ander- 
son assumed  command  of  the  department,  and  one 


of  his  first  acts  was  to  issue  a  general  order  iu 
which  he  alluded  in  complimentary  terms  to  my 
conduct  at  New  Berne,  and  named  me  '''  acting 
medical  director  of  the  Department  of  Cape  Fear." 

In  the  summer  of  1862,  while  still  on  duty  at 
GrokUborough,  business  carried  me  to  Richmond,, 
where  I  found  everything  in  a  state  of  excitement 
because  of  the  attack  which  General  Lee  proposed 
to  make  on  General  McClellan,  who  was  then  in- 
vesting the  city.  I  called  at  once  on  my  old  friend 
Surgeon  Guild,  and  was  received  with  every  mani- 
festation of  pleasure.  "  I  am  delighted  to  see  you, 
Warren, ' '  he  said .  '  'The  fight  will  begin  to-morrow, 
and  I  am  ordered  to  organize  an  '  operating  corps' 
and  to  proceed  to  the  field  witli  it.  You  must  go 
with  me.  I  will  take  no  refusal."  ''  Refusal,  in- 
deed!" said  I;  "  nothing  will  give  me  more  pleasure. 
Only  tell  me  where  lean  get  a  horse  and  I  am  at 
your  service."  "  As  for  that,  there  will  be  no 
difficulty.  Charles  Bell  Gibson  is  to  accompany  me, 
and  as  he  will  drive  one  of  his  horses  I  will  get 
him  to  lend  the  other  to  you."  I  then  took  up  my 
quarters  with  him,  and  we  devoted  ourselves  to* 
making  necessary  arrangements — calling  upon, 
various  surgeons  to  accompany  us,  and  collecting 
such  instruments,  stores  and  appliances  as  were  re* 
quired  for  the  service. 

At  four  o'clock  on  the  next  day  we  started  for 
the  field,  taking  the  Chicahominy  road,  and  ridings 
as  far  as  our  last  battery  on  the  Richmond  side  of" 
the  river.  As  the  route  was  a  long  one,  and  every- 
thing tranquil  in  the  various  camps  which  we 
passed,  it  happened  that  first  one  surgeon  and  then 
another  dropped  behind,  either  overcome  by  fatigue 
or  under  the  impression  that  there  would  be  no 
fighting  that  day.  When  we  reached  the  battery, 
consequently,  only  Surgeon  Guild,  Surgeon  Cren- 

294  A  doctor's  experiences 

sliaw  and  myself  constituted  the  party  of  ^^  special 

Just  as  we  rode  up  the  report  of  a  gun  was  heard 
on  the  other  side  of  the  river ^  and  Greneral  D.  H. 
Hill,  springing  upoQ  the  parapet,  gazed  earnestly 
and  anxiously  in  the  direction  from  which  it  had 
come.  A  moment's  glance  seemed  to  satisfy  him, 
and  waving  his  hand  to  his  couriers,  they  dashed 
off  to  announce  as  we  soon  discovered  the  supposed 
arrival  of  "  Stonewall'"  Jackson  from  the  Valley, 
and  to  summon  the  troops  to  join  in  the  precon- 
certed attack  upon  the  enemy. 

Two  batteries  of  artillery  under  the  command  of 
Duke  Johnston — an  old  college-mate  and  a  gallant 
soldier — were  the  first  to  get  into  position,  and  un- 
limbering  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  Mechanics- 
viile,  they  began  to  play  upon  the  astonished 

The  road  was  immediately  thronged  with  troops 
hurrying  eagerly  to  the  "  front"  to  take  part  in  the 
fight,  and,  as  they  belonged  principally  to  D.  H. 
Hill's  division,  which  had  only  recently  served  in 
North  Carolina,  I  received  a  friendly  salutation 
from  nearly  every  officer  and  soldier  who  passed 
by.  Finally  Colonel  Gaston  Mears,  of  Wilming- 
ton, accompanied  by  several  other  officers,  rode  up 
and  said  to  me  :  "■  Dr.  Warren,  we  are '  delighted 
to  see  you  here.  Only  our  assistant  surgeons-  are 
with  us,  as  our  surgeons  with  their  ambulances  are 
in  the  rear,  and  apiDarently  have  not  been  informed 
of  what  is  going  on  ;  you  must  come  along  and 
look  after  us  if  we  are  wounded."  ''Certainly," 
said  I,  ''it  will  give  me  the  greatest  pleasure  to 
accompany  you,"  and  turning  to  Dr.  Guild,  I 
asked  his  permission  to  cross  the  river  with  the 
troops.  "  You  have  no  business  over  there,  War- 
ren," he  answered,    "and  you   will  certainly  get 


killed  if  you  go;  for  the  enemy  is  shelling  the  road 
from  the  bridge  to  the  town,  as  yon  can  see  for 
y^ourself."  ''But  I  must  go,  whatever  the  risk," 
I  pleaded;  ''for  these  men  are  my  compatriots  and 
my  personal  friends,  and  they  have  appealed  to  me 
to  stand  by  them."  "  Well,  if  you  are  determined 
to  sacrifice  your  life  I  will  go  with  you,"  was  the 
brave  and  loyal  response  of  the  coming  medical 
director  of  the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia. 

We  therefore  took  our  places  in  the  rear  of  the 
•advancing  column,  and  followed  it  over  the  bridge. 
After  running  the  gauntlet  of  the  road  we  reached 
a  point  beneath  the  hill  where  the  troops  were  be- 
ing formed  preliminary  to  a  charge  upon  the  ene- 
my's line  at  Ellison's  mill,  and  where  we  found 
General  Lee  and  his  staff.  He  was  engaged  in 
conversation  when  we  rode  up,  but  immediately 
a-fterward,  attracted  by  some  wounded  men  from 
the  batteries  on  the  hill,  he  turned  to  his  aide  de 
€amp.  Colonel  Charles  Marshall* — an  old  college 
friend,  and  one  of  the  best  and  bravest  officers  in  the 
a,rmy  —  and  asked:  "Is  there  a  medical  officer 
present?"  "Yes,  General,  here  is  Dr.  Warren," 
was  Colonel  Marshall's  reply.  General  Lee  then 
turned  to  me  and  said  :  "I  need  a  medical  director, 
and  you  must  act  as  such,  as  you  seem  to  be  the  only 
medical  officer  available.  I  shall  have  the  order  is- 
sued at  the  first  practicable  moment."  For  an  in- 
stant my  brain  reeled  from  excitement  and  gratifi- 
cation, for  this  was  a  promotion  above  all  that  I 
had  dreamed  of — it  was  the  offer  of  the  highest 
medical  position  in  the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia, 

*  Colonel  Marshall  is  a  oTandson  and  a  worthy  representa- 
tive of  Chief- Justice  Marshall,  of  "S^irginia.  He'  bore  olf  the 
highest  honors  of  the  University,  greatly  distinguished  him- 
self in  the  war,  and  is  now  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  Balti- 
more bar.     We  have  been  warm  friends  for  thirtv  vears. 

296  A  doctor's  experiexces 

and  it  meant  the  identification  of  my  name  with 
that  of  its  great  commander  while  history  is  to  be 
read.  But,  thank  God!  there  was  a  sentiment  in 
my  heart  stronger  than  its  ambition^  and  potent 
enough  to  keep  me  in  the  path  of  rectitude  and 
honor.  I  knew  that  Guild  was  entitled  to  the  posi- 
tion, and  remembering  that  he  was  my  friend  and 
benefactor,  afeer  a  moment's  struggle  with  myself 
I  said  to  General  Lee  :  "I  should  be  only  too  proud 
and  happy  to  serve  you — to  be  the  medical  director 
of  this  army — but  Dr.  Guild  is  here,  and  he  is  en- 
titled to  the  promotion."  ''You  are  right,  sir,  I 
know  Dr.  Guild  very  well.  Where  is  he?"  was 
his  response.  "Only  a  few  paces  in  the  rear  ;  we 
came  into  the  field  together,  and  he  has  halted  a 
moment  to  speak  to  a  friend.  I  will  bring  him  at 
once,"  I  answered,  as  Dr.  Guild  appeared  upon  the 
scene,  unconscious  of  the  honor  in  store  for  him, 
and  saluted  the  general.  General  Lee  greeted  him 
warmly,  for  they  were  old  comrades,  and  said  ta 
him :  "I  need  a  medical  director,  and  I  name  you 
for  the  position.  Get  to  work  immediately  and 
.make  your  arrangements  for  some  heavy  fighting." 
"  Many  thanks,  General,  I  will  do  my  best  to 
merit  your  approbation/'  was  Guild's  reply.  Then 
turning  to  me  he  asked:  "What  position  do  you 
desire,  Warren?"  "Any  position  that  will  keep 
me  with  you  and  give  me  a  chance  to  see  service 
and  to  do  something,"  I  answered.  Turning  to 
the  General  he  said  at  once  :  "  With  your  permis- 
sion, General,  I  will  make  my  friend  Dr.  Warren 
the  medical  inspector  of  the  army."  General  Lee 
bowed  in  acquiescence,  and  thus  by  one  of  those 
strange  freaks  of  fortune  which  have  so  frequently 
surprised  and  startled  me  in  life  I  found  myself 
suddenly  elevated  to  the  second  position  of  honor 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  297 

and  responsibility  in  the  medical  staff  of  the  Army 
of  Northern  Virginia. 

There  hangs  upon  my  office  wall,  framed  elabor- 
ately and  treasured  fondly,  a  dilapidated  paper- 
writing,  which  runs  in  this  wise  : 

Battle-Field,  June  21,  1862. 
Special  Order  No.  3. 

Surgeon  E.  Warren  is  detailed  for  duty  as  medi- 
cal inspector  of  the  hospitals  of  Northern  Virginia, 
and, will  make   daily    reports    of  the    condition    of 
these  hospitals  to  tbe  medical  director. 
By  order  of  General  Lee. 

L.  Guild,  Surgeon  C.  S.  A., 

Medical  Director. 

This  order  was  written,  as  you  will  perceive,  upon 
the  "battle-field"  itself,while cannon  werebelching 
forth  their  deadly  breath  and  bayonets  were  flash- 
ing in  the  lurid  sunlight,  and  the  shouts  of  charg- 
ing battalions  were  filling  the  air,  and  death  was 
holding  high  carnival  around  us  ;  and  alike  from 
the  circumstances  under  which  it  was  promulgated 
and  the  associations  which  cluster  around  it,  it 
possesses  for  me  a  value  which  cannot  be  computed 
in  figures  expressed  in  language.  Above  the  fir- 
man of  the  Khedive  of  Egypt  and  the  decree  of 
the  President  of  the  Republic  of  France — beyond 
all  the  orders,  medals  and  diplomas  of  which  I 
have  been  the  recipient — I  prize  this  simple  sheet 
of  soiled  and  time-molded  paper,  with  the  scarcely 
legible  words  which  are  written  upon  it,  and  I 
have  carried  it  in  triumph  with  me  in  all  my  wander- 
ings, and  I  shall  leave  it  to  my  children  as  my 
proudest  and  richest  legacy. 

Dr.  Guild  turned  to  me  immediately   and  said  : 
"In  God's  name,  Warren,  what  am   I  to   do?     I 

298  A  doctor's  experiences 

know  nothing  of  the  medical  organization  of  the 
army.  I  have  not  seen  a  surgeon  or  an  ambulance 
since  I  left  Richmond,  and  it  is  now  nearly  night, 
with  a  terrible  fight  on  hand."  ^'  It  is  an  embar- 
rassing position,"  I  answered,  ''but  there  must  be 
a  way  out  of  it.  The  assistant  surgeons  with  the 
attacking  regiments  will  certainly  send  their 
wounded  to  Mechanicsville,  and  you  had  better 
ride  there  at  once  and  assume  charge  of  them.  I 
remember  having  seen  about  two  miles  in  the  rear 
at  least  fifty  ambulances  parked  around  an  old 
barn,  and  I  have  no  doubt  the  surgeons  are  there 
awaiting  orders.  I  will  go  for  them  and  order 
them  up."  "All  right.  Gro  for  them  at  once,  and 
then  join  me  as  quickly  as  possible,"  he  replied. 

Putting  spurs  to  my  horse  I  dashed  off  like  the 
wind  in  search  of  the  absent  surgeons,  and,  luckily, 
met  them  in  the  immediate  neighborhood  of  the 
bridge,  as  they  had  heard  the  firing  and  were  has- 
tening tow^ard  it  in  obedience  to  an  instinctive  sense 
of  duty.  Without  waiting  for  them  I  returned 
and  joined  Guild,  who  was  already  at  work,  and 
who  w^as  delighted  at  seeing  me  again,  especially 
as  I  was  the  bearer  of  intelligence  that  greatly  re- 
lieved his  anxiety  and  embarrassment. 

I  had  hardly  arrived  when  an  aide-de-camp  from 
General  Lee  rode  up,  with  orders  to  the  medical 
director  to  give  onl}^  the  first  care  to  the  wounded 
at-  Mechanicsville  and  then  to  transfer  them  with 
all  possible  dispatch  to  ambulance  trains  which 
awaited  on  the  Central  railroad  to  transport  them 
to  Richmond  ;  and  in  so  doing  to  avoid  the  road 
over  which  the  troops  were  to  advance  on  the  next 

The  entire  night  was  spent  in  sending  parties  to 
the  field  in  search  of  the  wounded,  in  giving  those 
who  where  brought  in  such  attention  as  was  abso- 


lutely  necessary,  and  then  in  transporting  them  as 
rapidly  as  possible  to  the  trains  just  referred  to. 
The  reason  of  this  order,  so  far  as  it  related  to  the 
immediate  transfer  of  the  wounded,  though  not 
apparent  at  the  moment,  became  conspicuously  evi- 
dent shortly  afterward,  and  in  a  manner  which 
left  a  lasting  impression  upon  my  mind. 

Just  before  dawn  a  major-general  and  his  suite 
rode  up  to  the  principal  hospital,  gave  their  horses 
to  the  couriers,  and  stretched  themselves  upon  the 
floor  of  the  piazza,  hoping  to  obtain  some  repose 
after  the  labors  of  the  night.  Having  sent  the  last 
wounded  man  to  the  rear,  and  being  utterly  ex- 
hausted from  the  combined  effects  of  excitement  and 
overw^ork.  Dr.  Guild  and  I  followed  their  example, 
making  a  couch  of  the  door-step,  as  the  atmosphere 
of  the  house  itself  was  oppressive  with  heat  and 
odors.  A  few  moments  of  profound  silence  elapsed, 
when  just  as  there  was  light  enough  to  render 
surrounding  objects  visible,  we  heard  the  report  of 
a  musket  followed  by  the  thud  of  a  conical  ball  as  it 
struck  the  house  immediately  above  our  heads.  This 
seemed  to  be  the  signal  for  a  general  attack  upon  the 
building,  for  the  enemy,  not  having  been  dislodged 
by  the  assault  of  the  previous  evening — as  General 
Lee  knew  when  he  gave  the  order  for  the  removal  of 
the  wounded — immediately  opened  fire  upon  it  with 
artillery  and  musketry  at  short  range.  The  effect 
was  terrific.  In  an  instant  one  ot  the  couriers  was 
killed,  several  trees  in  the  yard  were  shattered,  a 
chimney  came  tumbling  down  about  us,  fragments 
of  the  roof  flew  in  every  direction,  and  the  building 
was  rendered  almost  a  wreck.  Rushing  to  our 
horses,  and  mounting  them  rapidly,  we  fled  for  our 
lives,  first  through  the  dense  wood  in  the  rear,  and 
then  over  the  open  field,  until  we  came  to  the  main 
road  at  the  Chicahorainy  bridge.     The  first  person 

300  A  doctor's  experiences 

encountered  there  was  General  Lee,  who,  with  his 
staff,  was  riding  in  the  direction  of  the  scene  of  the 
previous  engagement.  A  snoile  played  over  the  old 
man's  countenance  when  he  observed  our  plight 
and  precipitation,  and  as  we  drew  in  our  foaming 
horses  and  saluted  him  respectfully,  he  asked  most 
blandly  :  "  Why  so  hurried  this  morning,  gentle- 
men?" Hearing  a  clatter  behind  us  at  this  moment, 
I  turned  and  saw  the  general  who  had  made  the 
piazza  his  bed  chamber  a  little  while  before,  accom- 
panied by  his  staff  officers  and  couriers,  approach- 
ing through  the  field  at  a  pace  fully  as  great  as 
ours  had  been,  and  quietly  pointing  to  him,  I  re- 
plied:  '^General  L.  is  in  command,  and  he  will 
explain  everything." 

As  we  had  dispatched  the  last  wounded  man  to 
the  rear,  and  had  nothing  further  to  do  at  Mechanics- 
ville,  it  would  have  been  folly  to  remain  there  to 
be  killed  in  gloriously,  and  hence  we  deemed  dis- 
cretion the  better  part  of  valor  under  the  circum- 
stances, as  did  our  companion  in  peril,  who  was 
one  of  the  bravest  officers  of  the  Confederacy. 

A  flank  movement  on  the  part  of  General  Jack- 
son quickly  compelled  the  enemy  to  abandon  his 
position,  and  gave  us  at  the  same  time  the  oppor- 
tunity to  remove  such  of  the  wounded  as  still  re- 
mained where  they  had  fallen  and  to  bury  those 
who  had  died  in  that  bloody  meadow. 

While  engaged  in  seeking  the  wounded  I  en- 
countered a  burial  party  from  the  Edenton  com- 
pany, and  assisted  them  to  inter  several  of  its  mem- 
bers— boys  whom  I  had  known  from  their  births 
and  whose  parents  were  the  friends  of  my  childhood. 

James  Hawkins — the  son  of  our  village  under- 
taker and  a  fine  young  man  in  every  way — could 
only  be  recognized  by  his  body,  as  his  head  had 
been  carried  entirely  away  by  a  round  shot. 


T  also  heard  of  the  fatal  wounding  of  their  former 
captain,  T.  L.  Skinner^  who  had  been  recently 
promoted  to  the  majority  of  his  regiment  and  was 
in  his  first  fight.  He  was  one  of  the  wealthiest 
men  in  Chowan  County,  and  the  direct  descendant 
of  Gabriel  Johnstone — a  royal  governor  of  North 
Carolina — as  well  as  a  gentleman  of  the  highest 
character  and  of  the  most  amiable  disposition. 
Closely  related  to  my  wife,  he  had  celebrated  our 
marriage  with  a  magnificent  party  at  his  country 
seat  near  Edenton,  and  I  had  not  only  been  his 
family  physician  for  years,  but  his  friend  for  a  life- 

It  was  with  a  sad  heart,  therefore,  that  I  per- 
formed my  .work  that  diy,  for  visions  of  old  Eden- 
ton, with  the  associations  which  made  it  the  dearest 
spot  on  earth  to  me,  filled  my  mind  continually, 
and  yet  I  never  had  greater  need  of  a  clear  head 
and  a  steady  hand.  On  the  succeeding  day  occurred 
the  sanguinary  battle  of  Gaines'  Mills — or  Coal 
Harbor,  as  it  w^as  designated  by  McClellan  in  his 
dispatches — and  we  were  again  flooded  w^th 
wounded  men  from  both  armies.  Fortunately, 
however,  the  medical  director  had  completed  the 
organization  of  his  department,  and  everything 
w^orked  without  clash  or  confusion. 

And  so  matters  continued  for  a  week — a  furious 
battle  being  fought  every  day,  leaving  upon  the 
field  a  sufficient  number  of  wounded  men  to  occupy 
the  surgeons  until  their  places  were  supplied  by 
others  from  the  succeeding  fight  and  giving  us 
such  an  amount  of  labor  to  perform  as  to  prevent 
us  from  taking  a  sufficiency  of  food  and  from  ob- 
taining the  necessary  amount  of  sleep. 

A  culmination  was  finally  reached  at  Malvern 
Hill,  where,  after  a  desperate  battle,  the  Federal 
commander  repulsed  the  Confederates  and  secured 

302  A  doctor's  experiences 

an  opportunity  to  retreat  to  Harrison's  Landing 
under  the  protection  of  tlie  river  fleet.  Just  before 
the  fight  began  a  corps  of  city  surgeons — clad  in 
brilliant  uniformSj  and  filled  with  professional 
ardor — arrived  at  our  field-hospital,  and  asked  to 
be  assigned  to  duty  for  the  occasion.  At  that  pre- 
cise moment  two  shells — the  first  fired  from  Mal- 
vern— fell  in  quick  succession  within  a  few  feet  of 
the  party. 

Guild  was  engaged  ,in  the  amputation  of  a  limb 
at  the  time,  and,  with  the  cool  courage  which  so 
greatly  distinguished  him,  he  continued  his  work 
as  deliberately  as  if  he  were  in  the  amphitheater 
of  a  medical  college.  Our  new  recruits  waited  un- 
til the  operation  was  competed,  looking  as  serious 
as  if  they  expected  at  any  moment  to  be  called  to 
their  last  account,  and  then  suddenly  remembering 
certain  important  engagements  in  Richmond, 
quietly  filed  away,  to  be  seen  no  more  on  that  or 
any  other  battle-field.  They  could  have  remained 
with  perfect  impunity,  however,  for  not  another 
shell  fell  in  that  vicinity  during  the  fight,  and  the 
hospital  proved  for  the  occasion  a  veritable  '^  bomb- 

The  battle  of  Malvern  Hill  was  in  all  regards 
one  of  the  most  terrible  of  the  war.  The  Federal 
commander  having  selected  a  splendid  position- — 
the  apex  of  a  cone  toward  which  a  series  of  plains 
converged,  and  which  could  not  be  reached  by  a 
flank  movement — concentrated  upon  it  the  whole 
of  his  artillery,  and  then  brought  to  its  support  the 
guns  of  the  river  fleet  and  the  muskets  of  his  entire 
infantry.  Thus  entrenched  and  supported  he  would, 
in  all  probability,  have  been  impregnable  in  any 
event  against  the  best  handled  and  the  most  com- 
pletely concentrated  army  of  the  world — but  on 


this  occasion  he  was  rendered  absolutely  so  by  the 
manner  in  which  he  was  attacked. 

By  some  misunderstanding  of  General  Lee's 
orders,  and  with  the  bravado  of  over-confidence,  a 
mere  handful  of  men  threw  themselves  upon  the 
position  in  the  premises,  and  they,  having  been  re- 
pulsed, another  division  took  their  places,  only  to 
meet  with  the  same  fate  ;  and  thus  the  fight  con- 
tinued until  the  entire  army  had  been  involved  in 
detail  and  by  detachments.  There  was  at  no  time 
a  combined,  simultaneous  and  systematic  attack 
upon  the  position,  and  the  battle  was  lost  almost 
by  default — because  of  the  overweening  self-reliance 
of  the  Southern  troo|)s  engaged  in  it.  The  truth 
is,  success  had  so  continuously  wreathed  itself  about 
the  Confederate  standard — the  array  was  in  such 
a  splendid  and  seemingly  exhaustless  stream  of 
luck — that  it  had  learned  to  despise  its  adversaries, 
and  to  suppose  that  dash  and  daring  upon  its  part 
were  the  infallible  assurances  of  victory,  whatever 
might  be  the  strength  of  the  enemy  or  the  difficul- 
ties of  the  situation.  The  repulse  was  complete 
and  overwhelming  ;  and  so  great  was  the  conse- 
quent confusion  and  demoralization  that  for  several 
hours  after  the  engagement  the  Confederate  army 
had  absolutely  no  organic  existence — was  nothing 
more  nor  less  than  a  heterogenous  mass  of  strag- 
glers extending  from  Malvern  Hill  to  Richmond. 
McClellan  could,  in  fact,  have  marched  during  that 
night  or  on  the  succeeding  morning  into  the  Con- 
federate capital  with  as  much  ease  and  as  little 
opposition  as  he  actually  traversed  the  space  which 
separated  him  from  the  river  side  and  the  protect- 
ing guns  of  the  fleet. 

Nothing  could  live  upon  those  fatal  hillsides 
during  the  progress  of  the  fight,  and  those  who 
fell  there  had  to  remain  where  they  had  fallen  un- 

304  A  doctor's  experiences 

til  the  retreat  of  the  enemy  permitted  their  burial 
or  their  removal,  as  the  necessities  of  the  case  re- 

During  the  entire  period  of  the  fight  a  continu- 
ous stream  of  wounded  men — composed  of  those 
who  were  able  to  crawl  from  the  field  or  who  fell 
upon  its  margin — poured  into  the  contiguous  hos- 

I  have  never  forgotten  one  poor  fellow,  whose 
case  fell  under  my  observation.  He  was  a  mere  lad, 
belonging  to  a  Louisiana  regiment,  and  was  wounded 
so  soon  after  entering  the  field  that  he  fell  where  he 
could  be  reached  and  brought  away.  Observing  that 
blood  was  flowing  copiously  from  his  head  I  passed 
my  hand  over  its  surface  and  discovered  a  hard 
substance  projecting  from  a  penetrating  wound  of 
the  cranium.  A  closer  examination  revealed  the 
presence  of  the  hammer  of  a  gun-lock  buried  so 
deeply  in  the  substance  of  the  brain  as  almost  to 
conceal  its  presence,  and  to  render  its  removal  diffi- 
cult. He  was  profoundly  comatose  when  brought 
in,  but  so  soon  as  the  foreign  body  was  lifted  from 
its  bed,  with  a  scintillation  of  intelligence  he  sprang 
to  his  feet  and,  waving  his  hands  in  the  air,  cried  out 
in  ringing  tones:  "  Come  on,  boys  !  One  more  blow 
for  the  ladies  of  New  Orleans,"  and  then  fell  ex- 
hausted and  senseless  to  the  earth  again.  What 
became  of  him  I  never  knew,  though  I  had  him 
lifted  up  tenderly  and  borne  to  the  rear,  with  in- 
structions to  the  surgeons  there  to  treat  him  as  if 
he  were  my  son.  But  time  can  never  efface  from 
my  memory  the  recollection  of  that  fair  young  face 
lit  up  by  the  glare  of  torches  and  the  fire  of  enthu- 
siasm ;  that  frail  form  trembling  from  physical 
weakness  yet  instinct  with  patriotic  fervor,  and  ^ 
that  strange  flashing  up  of  a   flickering   intellect 


under  the  spell  of  the  sentiment  which  had  inspired 
it  in  the  shock  of  battle. 

General  Lee  passed  an  anxious  and  sleepless 
night,  for  no  man  could  tell  what  the  morrow 
would  reveal.  Fortunately  for  him  and  for  his 
cause,  the  victors,  in  total  ignorance  of  the  ruin 
they  had  wrought,  and  of  the  opportunity  which  it 
gave  them,  fled  before  the  dawn  and  left  the  field 
to  the  vanquished. 

I  rode  over  the  field  at  an  early  hour  on  the  suc- 
ceeding day,  and  found  it  literally  gray  with  South- 
ern jackets — completely  paved  with  the  bodies  of 
dead  and  wounded  Confederates. 

In  all  my  experience  I  have  never  seen  anything 
comparable  with  the  slaughter  upon  those  fatal 
hillsides,  and  only  a  history  written  by  some  one 
who  participated  in  the  fight,  or  who  read  the  rec- 
ord of  its  gory  field,  can  convey  a  conception  of 
the  desperation  of  the  assault  and  theobstinancy  of 
the  resistance  at  Malvern  Hill. 

A  little  in  the  rear  of  the  hostile  line  I  discov- 
ered an  old-fashioned  Virginia  ice-house,  the  roof 
of  which  had  been  penetrated  by  one  of  the  large 
shells  from  the  gunboats.  Prompted  by  a  spirit 
of  curiosity  I  opened  the  door*  and  looked  within, 
to  be  startled  by  one  of  the  most  ghastly  specta- 
cles that  I  ever  beheld.  There  lay  the  stiffened 
forms  of  twelve  Union  soldiers,  all  of  whom  had 
evidently  taken  refuge  in  the  house  during  the  en- 
gagement, and  had  been  killed  together  by  the 
single  shell  which  penetrated  its  roof  and  exploded 
upon  its  floor. 

During  this  eventful  week  the  fortunes  of  war 
carried  me  under  the  very  roof  beneath  which  my 
father  and  mother  were  married.  Savage's  Sta- 
tion, on  the  York  River  Railroad,  where  a  severe 
engagement  was  fought,  and  an  immense  supply 

306  A  doctor's  experiences 

of  hospital  tents  arid  stores  were  captured — though 
the  enemy  had  attempted  to  destroy  them,  while 
they  left  their  wounded  in  our  hands — was  for- 
merly known  hy  the  name  of  Laurel  Grove,  the 
seat  of  my  mother's  family  when  she  was  a  girl. 
Under  the  very  oaks  which  sheltered  me  that  day 
and  amid  the  bowers  in  which  I  wandered,  my 
father  had  told  the  story  of  his  love,  and  she  to 
whom  I  owe  my  being  had  listened  and  responded, 
little  dreaming  that  their  son  would  come  in  after 
years  with  a  victorious  army  to  wrest  it  from  an 
invader,  and  to  find  its  green  lawns  white  with 
alien  tents  and  covered  with  mutilated  bodies. 
Such  is  life — a  record  of  the  certainty  only  of  the 
uncertain — a  series  of  seeming  impossibilities — a 
chain  whose  every  link  is  forged  of  an  incongruity 
and  a  surprise. 

With  the  battle  of  Malvern  Hill  the  '^seven- 
days'  fight"  concluded,  and  a  period  of  inaction 
followed,  which  was  devoted  to  the  recuperation  of 
our  own  exhausted  energies,  and  to  the  more  com- 
plete organization  of  the  medical  staff. 

I  subsequently  returned  to  my  post  in  North 
Carolina,  and  during  the  succeeding  months  of  ab- 
solute rest  at  GoldsboVough  T  devoted  myself  to 
the  preparation  of  a  manual  of  military  surgery, 
such  as  my  own  experience  with  the  medical  offi- 
cers of  the  Confederacy  convinced  me  to  be  a  de- 
sideratum. Pretending  to  no  originality,  I  simply 
sought  to  describe  the  various  operations  in  sur- 
gery according  to  the  data  furnished  by  the  best 
authorities,  and  to  show  the  appreciation  to  which 
th'ey  were  entitled.  The  typographical  execution 
of  the  book  was  very  imperfect,  as  nearly  all  of  the 
practical  printers  were  in  the  army  and  the  work 
had  to  be  done  by  the  merest  tyros  in  the  art,  and 
yet  it  met  with  so  cordial  a  reception  as  to  necessi- 


tate  immediate  preparation  for  thelssueof  a  second 
edition.  It  was  entitled '' Surgery  for  Field  and 
Hospital/'  and  though  bearing  the  imprint  of 
West  &  Johnson,  of  Richmond,  it  was  really 
printed  by  some  boys  at  Raleigh. 

308  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

In  the  summer  of  1862  the  Honorable  Zebulon 
B.  Vance  was  elected  governor  of  North  Carolina, 
and  through  the  intervention  of  mutual  friends — es- 
pecially of  Dr.  T.  J.  Boykin,  who  was  then  sur- 
geon of  his  regiment — I  was  appointed  surgeon- 
general  of  the  State  soon  afterward. 

My  predecessor  would  scarcely  have  been  re- 
moved, as  he  was  a  physician  of  ability  and  a  gen- 
tleman of  high  social  standing,  but,  supposing  my 
appointment  inevitable,  he  resigned  the  office  on 
the  eve  of  the  Governor's  inauguration,  upon  the 
ground  of  its  uselessness  in  the  supposed  per- 
fected condition  of  the  Confederate  medical  organ- 
ization— much  to  my  surprise  and  gratification. 

Of  Dr.  Boykin  I  will  say,  en  passant^  that  a 
more  loyal  and  pure-hearted  man  never  lived,  and 
that  he  commanded  in  a  pre-eminent  degree  the 
respect  and  confidence  of  all  who  knew  him — an 
experience  which  has  since  been  repeated  and  em- 
phasized in  the  city  of  Baltimore,  where  he  has 
made  for  himself  a  home  and  a  fortune  since  the 
war.  His  love  for  Governor  Vance,  his  former 
commander,  has  ever  been  like  that  of  Damon  for 
Pythias — a  sentiment  incorporating  itself  into  his 
entire  life,  and  elucidating  in  its  unreserved  admir- 
ation and  unselfish  service  much  of  the  true  dig- 
nity and  inherent  excellence  of  human  nature.     I 


am  proud  to  call  such  a  man  my  frieud.  and  feel  a 
fresh  inspiration  to  virtue  in  the  contemplation  of 
his  noble  character  and  honorable  life. 

I  cannot  begin,  my  dear  Doctor,  to  express  the 
gratification  which  this  advancement  afforded  me. 
To  be  thus  elevated  to  the  highest  medical  position 
known  to  my  native  State,  filled  my  bosom  with 
peculiar  pride  and  exultation,  while  it  inspired  a 
sense  of  gratitude  to  Governor  Vance  which  made 
me  his  devoted  friend  for  life,  and  awakened  a  desire 
to  serve  North  Carolina,  from  which  I  can  say  with 
truth,  and  without  vanity,  incalculable  benefits 
accrued  alike  to  her  soldiers  and  to  her  people. 

The  legislature  was  induced  to  give  a  palpable 
contradiction  to  the  alleged  uselessness  of  the  office 
by  an  appropriation  of  one  hundred  thousand  dol- 
lars annually  to  its  support.. 

Supported  by  the  Governor,  I  established  a  num- 
ber of  wayside  hospitals  at  convenient  points  in 
the  State,  and  a  soldiers'  home  in  Richmond,  which 
fed,  warmed,  sheltered  and  clothed  thousands  of 
weary  and  suffering  soldiers  as  they  journeyed 
homeward  or  campward. 

I  purchased  in  Europe  a  large  stock  of  instru- 
ments, medicines  and  hospital  stores,  and  dis- 
tributed them  with  a  liberal  hand  to  the  North 
Carolina  troops  long  after  the  Confederate  author- 
ities had  exhausted  their  supply  and  were  without 
the  means  of  replenishing  them. 

I  caused  to  be  collected  at  convenient  points  on 
the  railroads  or  to  be  sent  to  my  office  at  Raleigh 
monthly  contributions  to  the  necessities  of  the  sol- 
diers at  the  front  and  had  them  forwarded  regularly 
to  their  proper  destination. 

I  organized  a  corps  of  competent  surgeons — 
among  whom  were  Dr.  Eugene  Grissom  and  Dr. 
David    Tayloe,    of    whom    I    cannot    speak    too 

310  A  doctor's  experiences 

highly — and  sent  them  wherever  the  sick  and 
wounded  were  to  be  found  and  services  coukl  be 

1  effectually  stamped  out  an  epidemic  of  small- 
pox which  threatened  to  invade  the  State  from 
several  points  simultaneously,  by  appointing  a 
vaccinator  in  every  county,  sup|)lying  him  with 
reliable  virus,  and  seeing  that  his  duties  were  faith- 
fully performed — the  records  of  my  office  showing 
the  vaccination  of  seventy  thousand  persons  of  all 
ages,  complexions  and  conditions. 

I  organized  a  medical  staff  for  the  militia  and 
Home  Guards  of  the  State,  supervised  the  examina- 
tion of  such  as  claimed  exemption  from  duty  upon 
the  ground  of  physical  disability,  and  supplied  each 
regiment  with  proper  instruments  and  a  plentiful 
supply  of  hospital  stores. 

In  a  word,  in  a  thousand  different  ways  I  made 
my  department  felt,  appreciated  and  respected,  not 
only  by  North  Carolina  but  by  the  whole  Confed- 
eracy. As  an  evidence  of  this  I  recall  with  infinite 
pride  and  satisfaction  the  fact  that  I  secured  the 
confidence  and  friendship  of  Grovernor  Vance,  and 
that  the  legislature  of  the  State  upon  the  distinct 
grounds  of  ''faithful  and  devoted  service  to  the 
sick  and  wounded ' '  raised  my  rank  from  that  of 
colonel  to  that  of  brigadier -general^  with  a  corre- 
sponding augmentation  of  pay  and  emoluments. 

My  relations  with  the  Governor  ripened  into  the 
closest  iritimacy.  He  gave  me  his  fullest  confidence 
and  most  sincere  regard.  I  became  his  most  trusted 
counselor,  not  alone  in  matters  appertaining  to  my 
special  department,  but  in  public  affairs  of  the 
gravest  nature.  It  was  in  vain  that  jealousy 
sought  to  disturb  our  relations  or  that  calumny 
breathed  its  detractions  into  his  ear.  He  kneio  that 
I  was  faithful   to  him  and   to  the  trust  which  he 


had  confided  to  me,  and  he  "  stood  by  me  "  under 
all  circumstances  and  against  every  adversary. 

As  an  evidence  of  his  confidence,  I  will  relate  some 
incidents  which  occurred  during  our  association.  I 
once  visited  a  neighboring  city  on  ofiicial  business, 
and  was  thrown  in  with  a  party  of  North  Carolin- 
ians who  were  on  a  desperate  spree  there.  As 
they  were  the  Grovernor's  political  friends  and  men 
of  influence  at  home,  I  could  not  avoid  a  certain 
degree  of  intimacy  with  them,  though  I  took  no 
part  in  their  proceedings. 

On  my  return,  the  Governor  received  me  kindly, 
but  said  with  a  certain  amount  of  gravity  in  his 
tone  ;   ''I  heard  all  about  your  big  spree,  Warren." 

"My  big  spree,  Governoi' — what  in  the  world 
do  you  mean?"  I  asked  in  astonishment. 

"Now,    don't    crawfish.       I    know    the    whole 

thing — how  you  and  Tom    C made  the  place 

howl  while  I  thought  you  were  devoting  yourself 
to  public  affairs,"  he  answered,  still  wearing  a 
serious  air. 

"  You  must  really  explain  yourself,  Governor, 
for  I  don't  know  what  you  are  driving  at,"  I  in- 
sisted, taking  the  matter  seriously,  and  being 
greatly  annoyed. 

"  Well,  read  this,"  he  said,  as  he  handed  me  a 
letter,  in  the  address  of  which  I  instantly  recognized 
the  writing  of  one  of  my  supposed  friends  and  most 
trusted  assistants. 

Opening  it  eagerly,  regardless  of  the  "  confiden- 
tial" injunction  upon  its  envelope,  I  read  a  circum- 
stantial account  of  the  manner  in  which  I  had 
"  neglected  my  business  and  enjoyed  myself," 
Returning  the  letter  to  the  Governor,  with  the  blood 
boiling  in  my  veins  at,  the  baseness  of  one  who  had 
been    honored  and   trusted   by    me,  I  asked,  with 

312  A  doctor's  experiences 

trembling  lips,  '*  Do  you  believe  tliis  of  me, 
Governor  Vance?" 

"  Well,  as  to  that  part  of  it,  you  can  judge  for 
yourself.  Here  is  my  answer.  You  see  I  did  not 
wait  for  the  mail,  but  answered  by  telegraph/'' 
said  the  Governor,  a  bright  smile  playing  over  his 
countenance.  The  telegram  was  in  these  words  : 
''Tell  Warren  sorry  not  there  to  join  him;" 
thus  manifesting  in  a  brief  sentence  his  incredulity 
in  the  story,  his  fidelity  to  an  absent  friend,  and 
his  contempt  for  the  informer.  1  seized  the  Gover- 
nor's hand,  and  said  to  him  :  "  The  man  who  could 
be  anything  else  than  true  to  such  a  friend  as  you 
are,  does  not  deserve  to  live." 

On  another  occasion  1  called  at  Mr.  Holden's 
office,  in  the  vain  hope  of  preventing  an  open  rup- 
ture between  him  and  the  Governor,  and  of  thus 
saving  the  State  from  a  heated  political  struggle  in 
the  midst  of  the  great  war  to  which  she  stood 
fully  committed. 

I  saw  Governor  Vance  on  the  next  day,  and  before 
I  had  time  to  tell  him  of  my  visit  and  to  explain 
its  purpose,  he  said  to  me  :  ^'  And  so  you  paid 
Holden  a  visit  last  night !" 

''  Yes,"  said  I,  "  but  how  in  the  world  did  you 
know  about  it?" 

"  Well."  replied  he,  ''You  have  some  enemies 
who  would  prejudice  me  against  you  if  they  could, 
and  you  had  hardly  entered  Holden's  office  before 
three  persons  came  running  to  my  house,  each 
so  out  of  breath  that  he  could  scarcely  articulate, 
to  inform  me  that  my  'dearest  frieod"  was  closeted 
with  my  '  most  malignant  enemy.'  " 

"Is  it  possible,"  I  exclaimed;  "and  what  did 
you  say  to  them  ?" 

"Oh!  I  thanked  them  very  much  for  their 
kind  interest  in  my  affairs  and  said  that's  all  right, 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  313 

I  suppose  the  visit  is  on  my  account,  for  I  knew  that 
they  were  instigated  solely  hy  malice  and  that  what- 
ever you  might  do  it  would  be  prompted  by  a  desire 
to  serve  me,"  was  his  answer,  the  inherent  loyalty 
of  his  nature  instinctively  arraying  itself  in  defense 
•of  the  assailed  and  absent  friend  in  whose  loyalty 
he  believed. 

In  my  judgment  no  nobler  man  than  Zebulon 
Baird  Vance  was  ever  created — with  an  inherent 
kindness  of  heart  which  tempers  and  softens  his 
entire  nature  ;  a  respect  for  justice  and  right  which 
asserts  itself  under  all  possible  circumstances  ;  a 
sense  of  the  ridiculous  from  which  wells  out  a  stream 
of  humor  at  once  copious,  sparkling  and  exhaustless, 
and  an  intellect  which  like  some  great  oak  of  the 
forest  is  at  once  a  ''tower  of  strength"  and  a 
^*  thing  of  beauty  forever,"  now  braving  the  hurri- 
cane's breath  and  the  lightning's  flash,  and  then 
adorning  the  landscape  by  its  grandeur,  its  symme- 
try and  its  verdure. 

I  have  analyzed  his  heart  from  core  to  covering, 
and  I  know  that  in  its  every  cell  and  fiber  it  is  of 
the  purest  gold,  without  the  trace  of  alloy  or  a 
taint  of  counterfeit. 

I  regard  this  period  as  the  "  golden  age  "  of  my 
existence.  It  is  true  that  the  din  of  a  fearful  con- 
test continually  reverberated  in  my  ears  and  that 
dark  clouds  enveloped  the  horizon  ;  but  happiness 
reigned  in  my  household,  my  daily  duties  brought 
me  into  intimate  association  with  one  of  the  truest 
of  friends  and  the  most  genial  of  men,  his  friend- 
ship secured  for  me  the  respect  and  regard  of  the 
best  men  of  the  State,  and  I  realized  that  I  was 
engaged  in  a  noble  work — a  service  which  was  at 
once  honorable  in  itself,  invaluable  to  my  country 
and  acceptable  in  the  sight  of  heaven. 

Among  the  most  pleasant  incidents  of  my  ser- 

314  A  doctor's  experiences 

vice  as  a  member  of  the  Governor's  staff  was  a 
visit  which  I  made  with  him  to  the  Army  of  North- 
ern Virginia  in  the  winter  of  1863. 

He  was  then  a  candidate  for  re-election  to  the 
gubernatorial  chair,  having  filled  it  for  one  term 
with  great  eclat,  but  being  opposed  by  a  certain 
faction  at  home  which  proclaimed  itself  for  "  peace 
and  reconstruction  "  on  any  terms.  This  appeal, 
it  was  feared,  had  produced  some  impression  upon 
the  minds  of  the  soldiers  in  the  field^  and,  though 
the  ostensible  object  of  the  visit  was  the  advance- 
ment of  his  political  interests,  its  real  purpose  was 
to  rekindle  the  fires  of  patriotism  in  the  hearts  of 
the  North  Carolina  troops,  and  to  cheer  and  stimu- 
late the  entire  army.  1  had  supposed  that  I  knew 
him  thoroughly  and  appreciated  him  fully,  but  I 
had  really  no  conception  of  his  gilts  as  an.  orator 
and  of  the  potency  of  his  personal  magnetism  until 
this  memorable  occasion. 

Inspired  alike  by  his  peculiar  surroundings  and 
the  importance  of  his  mission,  he  transcended  him- 
self and  produced  an  impression  upon  the  army — 
from  its  great  captain  to  its  humblest  private — 
which  displayed  itself  in  the  wildest  enthusiasm 
for  the  cause  and  the  most  intense  idolatry  for  it& 
eloquent  advocate. 

That  he  should  have  been  thus  inspired  is  not 
surprising,  for  the  circumstances  which  surrounded 
him  would  have  stirred  the  heart  of  any  man. 

G-eneral  Lee  ordered  a  "  general  review  "  in  his- 
special  honor — an  incident,  I  believe,  without 
parallel  in  the  history  of  the  army. 

Upon  an  immense  plain  in  the  immediate  neigh- 
borhood of  Orange  Court  House  there  were  assem- 
bled the  troops  which  composed  the  then  uncon- 
quered  Army  of  Northern  Virginia.  They  were 
clad  in  rags  but  wreathed  with  victory  ;  their  flags 

GOV.     ZEBULOX     B.     VANCE, 


were  soiled  and  tattered,  but  upon  them  were  in- 
scribed the  immortal  names  of  Coal  Harbor,  Ma- 
nassas and  South  Mountain  ;  their  arms  were- 
battered  and  blackened,  but  their  fire  had  startled 
the  nations  and  reverberated  around  the  world  ; 
their  bands  were  decimated  and  out  of  tune,  but 
they  still  discoursed  the  inspiring  strains  of 
"Dixie,"  "The  Bonny  Blue  Flag,"  and  "The 
Girl  I  Left  Behind  Me,"  and  though  many  a  gal- 
lant leader  was  absent  because  "off  duty"  forever,. 
Jackson,  Longstreet,  Steuart,  Early,  Ewell,  Hill,. 
Rhodes,  Gordon,  Pettigrew,  Hampton  and  Fitz- 
hugh  Lee  were  there  to  do  honor  to  Carolina's- 
illustrious  son. 

Arrayed  in  two  confronting  lines  and  with  their 
bronzed  faces  beaming  with  pleasure  and  expect- 
ancy, the  noble  veterans  awaited  the  coming  of  the? 
old  chieftain  whom  they  had  followed  in  triumph 
so  long,  and  of  the  youthful  governor,  whose  de- 
votion to  the  cause  and  tender  care  of  his  owni 
troops  had  already  made  him  the  idol  of  them  all. 
Finally  the  cannons  boomed,  and  General  Lee  and 
Governor  Vance  appeared,  and,  amid  a  storm  of  en- 
thusiastic cheers  and  an  avalanche  of  friendly  greet- 
ings, rode  slowly  along  the  excited  lines.  It  was  a 
stirring  scene,  and  as  I  rode  with  this  distinguished 
company,  and  gazed  into  the  battered  but  radiant 
iaces  around  me,  and  listened  to  the  grand  "  Con- 
federate yell ' '  with  which  they  hailed  their  great 
commander  and  his  honored  guest,  I  felt  that  it 
was  indeed  an  occasion  to  be  remembered,  and 
realized  that  I  stood  in  the  presence  of  heroes  and 
conquerors — of  the  men  who  had  made  history,  and 
had  earned  even  from  their  enemies  the  reputation 
of  being  "  the  bravest  soldiers  who  ever  marched  to- 
the  music  of  battle." 

So  soon  as  the  revievv — if  that  military  love-feast 

-316  A  doctor's  experiences 

■can  be  so  designated — was  ended,  the  men  and 
officers  came  crowding  around  the  elevated  plat- 
form which  had  been  prepared  for  the  orator,  and 
for  two  hours  gave  him  their  most  earnest  attention. 

That  day  was  truly  a  proud  one  for  North  Caro- 
lina and  for  her  gifted  son.  A  more  appropriate, 
t^ffective  and  eloquent  address  was  never  uttered  by 
human  lips.  Under  the  influence  of  his  rich  and 
varied  imagery,  his  happy  and  graphic  illustrations, 
his  masterly  grasp  and  inner  meaning,  his  trench- 
ant thrusts  and  touching  allusions,  his  stirring 
appeals  and  deep  pathos,  and,  in  a  word,  his 
magnificent  and  resistless  eloquence,  tKe  audience 
was  stirred,  enraptured,  enthused  and  carried  av>'ay 
^s  if  by  the  spell  of  a  magician.  Not  a  man  who 
heard  that  impassioned  outburst  of  patriotic  inspir- 
.^tion  would  have  hesitated  to  die  for  his  country  ; 
and  I  am  convinced  that  in  many  an  hour  of  su- 
preme peril  afterward  it  rang  like  a  trumpet's 
tone  through  the  souls  of  those  who  heard  it,  in- 
spiring them  to  a  higher  courage,  a  nobler  effort, 
a  purer  patriotism  and  a  more  heroic  matyrdom 
for  the  cause  which  they  loved  so  well. 

If  aught  of  luke-warmness  or  despondency  had 
'been  produced  by  the  macliinations  of  a  selfish  fac- 
tion at  home  they  vanished  as  the  morning  mist 
before  the  rising  sun  under  the  spell  of  this  good 
man's  matchless  eloquence. 

I  heard  G-eneral  Lee  remark  that  Grovernor 
Vance's  visit  to  the  army  had  been  equivalent  to 
its  reinforcement  by  fifty  thousand  men  ;  and  it 
sowed  the  seeds  of  a  friendship  between  those  two 
true-hearted  patriots  which  fructified  even  amid 
the  dark  days  preceding  the  surrender,  and  grew  and 
strengthened  long  after  the  land  which  they  loved 
so  well  had  drained  the  cup  of  sorrow  to  the  dregs. 

It  was  then  that  he  made  classic  the  term  ^'  tar- 


heel,"  which  others  had  hitherto  applied  in  de- 
rision to  the  North  Carolina  soldiers,  by  addressing- 
them  as  ''fellow  tar-heels,"  and  demonstrating: 
that  the  sobriquet  was  but  a  synonym  of  that  tena- 
cious courage  which  had  made  them  stick  to  their 
posts  in  the  hour  of  danger  upon  so  many  hard- 
fought  fields,  to  their  own  imperishable  honor  and 
to  the  eternal  glory  of  the  mother  State,  And 
ever  afterward,  during  the  war  and  up  to  the  pres- 
ent moment,  the  most  subtle  compliment  which  car^ 
be  paid  to  a  North  Carolinian  who  followed  the  ban- 
ner of  the  Confederacy  in  all  of  its  vicissitudes  of 
fortune  until  it  was  furled  forever  at  Appomattox, 
is  to  call  him  by  that  homely  but  blood-baptized 
appellation  of  ''  tar-heel." 

So  soon  as  the  soldiers  had  recovered  from  the 
spell  of  excitement  induced  by  the  Governor's  ad- 
dress, they  cheered  lustily  for  General  Lee.  As  he 
was  unaccustomed  to  such  appeals,  and  had  been 
reared  with  the  strictest  ideas  of  military  discipline^ 
I  feared  at  first  that  he  might  misinterpret  the 
demonstration,  but,  loving  the  soldiers  with  a 
father's  tenderness,  he  took  no  ofi'ense,  and  simply 
blushed  and  retired  from  the  scene.  Other  officers, 
were  then  called  for,  but  none  responded  save  Gen- 
erals Early,  Steuart  and  Rhodes,  who  seemed  spe- 
cial favorites  with  the  army. 

General  Early  being  a  lawyer  by  profession  spoke 
with  force  and  fluency,  paying  many  handsome 
compliments  to  the  soldiers,  and  especially  lauding- 
the  heroism  of  those  from  North  Carolina.  He- 
was  warmly  received  and  enthusiastically  cheered 

General  Steuart  came  forward  with  all  that  ease 
and  grace  for  which  he  was  so  remarkable,  and, 
lifting  his  long-feathered  hat,  bowed,  and  bowed 
again  in  return  for  the  loud  shouts  which  greeted 
him.     ''  Fellow-soldiers,"  he  said,  "I  am    a   cav- 

318  A  doctor's  experiences 

airy  man,  and,  consequent!}^,  not  an  orator,  but 
I  should  be  untrue  to  myself  if  I  failed  to  command 
words  enough  to  thank  you  for  your  kind  recep- 
tion, and  to  say  that  I  have  commanded  many  sol- 
diers, but  never  braver  and  more  trusty  than  those 
who  hailed  from  the  Old  North  State.  God  bless 
her  1"  The  eloquence  of  Demosthenes  himself  could 
not  have  more  excited  the  audience — especially  the 
Carolina  portion  of  it — than  the  simple  but  perti- 
nent words  of  the  great  Confederate  raider,  and 
they  hurrahed  with  such  emphasis  that  I  began  to 
think  the  Federals  on  the  other  side  of  the  moun- 
tain would  believe  the  whole  army  had  commenced 
•a  charge  upon  them. 

General  Rhodes  arose  in  a  very  modest  and 
liesitating  way  and  said:  "  I  never  attempted  but 
one  speech  before  this  in  my  life,  and  that  was 
•at  Carlisle  when  we  raised  a  Confederate  flag  over 
its  arsenal  last  year.  I  did  not  finish  that  speech 
because  an  attack  was  made  upon  us  while  I  was 
in  the  midst  of  it  ;  but  with  God's  help  I  intend 
to  finish  my  speech  at  Carlisle."  This  reference 
to  a  possible  forward  movement  was  received  with 
the  greatest  manifestations  of  delight.  "At  Car- 
lisle !  At  Carlisle  !"  was  taken  up  and  echoed  and 
re-echoed  by  thousands  of  voices,  and  the  army 
seemed  ready  to  begin  its  march  northward  at  once 
iind  with  as  much  pleasure  as  if  some  great  feast 
liad  been  prepared  for  it  over  the  border. 

With  this  the  drums  beat  and  the  bugles  sounded, 
^nd  order  reigned  again  in  the  Army  of  Northern 
Virginia  as  completely  as  if  its  discipline  had  never 
been  relaxed,  and  nothing  had  occurred  to  dis- 
turb the  routine  of  its  hibernation. 

I  had  the  pleasure  during  this  visit  of  meeting 
with  manv  old  friends,  and  amons:  them  the  medi- 
€al  director  whose  appointment,  as  you  may  re- 
memberj  I  had  something  to  do  with  on  the  field  of 


Mechanicsville.  He  received  me  with  his  accus- 
tomed cordiality,  and  we  spent  several  pleasant 
hours  together,  talking  of  that  eventful  night  and 
■of  the  memorable  days  which  followed  it. 

This  reference  to  the  Army  of  Northern  Virginia 
reminds  me  to  make  a  statement,  for  which  I  am 
sure  you  are  unprepared.  To  North  Carolina 
mainly  belongs  the  honor  of  its  grand  achievements 
^the  glory  of  the  victories  which  has  rendered  its 
name  immortal.  From  the  day  of  its  organization 
to  that  of  its  final  surrender,  she  contributed  to  it 
more  than  one-half  of  its  effective  force.  Forty 
odd  regiments  of  "  tar-heels"  were  upon  its  muster- 
rolls — a  greater  number  than  was  furnished  con- 
tinuously by  any  other  Southern  State — and  by 
€ommon  consent  they  were  among  the  bravest  and 
the  best  troops  in  the  field.  From  the  Eoanoke  to 
the  Susquehanna  their  bones  are  scattered  upon 
€very  field  which  General  Lee  lost  or  won,  and  their 
names  and  deeds  are  recorded  in  the  history  of  his 
command  from  title-page  to  conclusion. 

I  shall  make  another  statement  which  may 
equally  surprise  you.  Though  North  Carolina  was 
opposed  to  the  dogma  of  secession  until  the  logic 
of  events  convinced  her  of  the  necessity  of  sustain- 
ing her  Southern  sisters,  she  furnished  to  the  armies 
of  the  Confederacy  one  hundred  and  tioenty  odd 
thousand  men,  thus  sending  out  a  greater  number 
of  soldiers  than  she  had  voters  when  hostilities 

These  facts  and  figures  cannot  be  controverted, 
and,  in  view  of  them,  I  respectfully  submit  that 
she  should  no  longer  be  reviled  as  the  Rip  Tan 
Winkle  of  the  Union,  but  honored  as  the  Ajax- 
Telemon  of  the  Confederacy.  She  was  slow  to 
take  her  position,  but  she  exsanguinated  and  im-' 
poverished  herself  in  maintaining  it,  and  in  so 
doing  made  a  record  for  herself  which  her  children 

320  A  doctor's  experiences 

will  regard  with  pride  and  admiration  to  the  re- 
motest generations. 

I  also  accompanied  the  Governor  on  many  pleas- 
ant visits  to  Wilmington,  whither  he  went  to  meet 
the  '^Advance,"  the  steamer  which  so  successfully 
eluded  the  blockade  and  brought  in  supplies  for 
the  troops,  and  some  royal  feasts  we  had  together 
there  on  luxuries  from  outre  mer. 

We  chanced  to  be  in  Wilmington  when  Butler 
attempted  to  destroy  Fort  Fisher  by  means  of  his 
celebrated  ''powder-ship,"  the  explosion  of  which 
did  not  awaken  the  garrison,  and  was  taken  by 
those  who  heard  it  in  Wilmington  for  the  report 
of  a  pack  of  "fire  crackers"  which  some  enthusi- 
astic urchin  had  fired  off  in  honor  of  the  repulse 
of  the  fleet. 

We  visited  the  fort  on  the  succeeding  day,  and 
found  it  somewhat  battered  and  plowed  up,  but 
not  materially  damaged,  while  its  huge  bastions 
and  parapets  looked  as  if  they  might  defy  the  com- 
bined navies  of  the  world.  So  much  for  appear- 
ances and  for  military  calculations  generally  ! 
Wken,  by  some  strange  fatality,  the  Confederacy 
and  everything  connected  with  it  was  falling,  in 
the  later  and  sadder  days  of  the  war.  Fort  Fisher 
fell  likewise.  General  Ames,  after  a  day's  bom- 
bardment from  the  sea  and  a  single  charge  upon 
land,  captured  the  work,  notwithstanding  its  appar- 
ent impregnability  and  the  confident  calculations 
of  its  defenders. 

It  was  certainly  a  formidable  work,  and  one 
which  did  credit  to  the  skill  of  the  officer  who 
originally  constructed  it,  and  who  subsequently 
lost  it  and  his  life  as  well. 

"  ^o  the  struck  eagle,  stretched  upon  the  plain, 
No  more  through  rolling  clouds  to  soar  again. 
Viewed,  his  own  feather  on  the  fatal  dart, 
And  wing'd  the  shaft  that  quiver'd  in  his  heart." 




My  Dear  Doctor: 

I  had  an  exciting  adventure  at  Kinston  while 
surgeon-general,  in  which  my  experience  with 
danger   and  disaster    was  repeated  and  extended. 

When  General  Foster  made  his  advance  upon 
that  place,  I  requested  permission  to  visit  it^  hop- 
ing to  be  of  service  to  the  wounded.  En  route  I 
overtook  a  regiment  whose  colonel  was  an  inti- 
mate friend  of  mine,  which  was  hastening  to  rein- 
force the  Confederate  commander,  filled  with  mar- 
tial ardor,  and  apprehensive  only  of  being  too  late 
to  take  part  in  the  fight.  We  arrived  at  the  de- 
pot about  midday,  and  were  informed  that  an  en- 
gagement had  been  in  progress  for  several  hours, 
and  that  the  enemy  had  been  repulsed  at  all 

As  the  firing  continued,  however,  we  started  at 
once  toward  the  field,  hoping  to  come  in  for  some 
of  the  glory  of  the  day,  even  if  we  chanced  to  ar- 
rive at  the  eleventh  hour,  and  after  the  battle  had 
been  fairly  w^on.  Indeed,  I  supposed  that  I  should 
find  work  in  any  event,  though  no  risk  might  be 
encountered  in  its  performance. 

In  those  days  Kinston  consisted  mainly  of  a  sin- 
gle street,  which  extended  from  the  railroad  to 
within  a  short  distance  of  the  river,  where  it  ter- 
mmated  in  a  road  that  ran  obliquely  to  a  bridge 
spanning  the  Neuse.  Upon  either  side  of  this 

322  A  doctor's  experiences 

street,  for  nearly  its  entire  length,  there  were 
handsome  houses,  rejoicing  in  white  gables  and 
green  blinds,  and  surrounded  by  luxuriant  gar- 
dens, while  a  row  of  majestic  elms  skirted  its  bor- 
bers  and  mingled  their  boughs  in  a  continuous- 
canopy  above. 

All  unconscious  of  danger,  and  thinking  the  vic- 
tory already  won,  the  colonel  permitted  his  men 
to  straggle  rather  than  march  along,  while  he  and 
I  strolled  leisurely  in  the  rear,  chatting  of  mutual 
friends  and  familiar  incidents. 

We  had  just  left  the  street  and  turned  into  the 
road,  when  we  were  startled  by  aloud  and  peculiar 
din  coming  from  the  opposite  side  of  the  river,  and 
looking  in  that  direction,  we  saw  to  our  consterna- 
tion a  body  of  Confederates  rushing  in  confusion 
toward  the  bridge,  while  a  large  Federal  force  was- 
rapidly  pursuing  them. 

In  an  instant,  two  batteries  came  dashing  for- 
ward, and  planting  their  guns  in  a  position  to 
command  the  bridge  and  its  approaches,  poured 
round  after  round  of  grape  and  canister  into  the 
fugitives,  with  whom  we  happened  to  be  in  direct 


At  the  first  discharge  several  men  were  killed 
beyond  me,  and  others  fell  in  such  close  proximity 
that  I  could  distinctly  hear  the  peculiar  thud  pro- 
duced by  the  messengers  of  death  as  they  pene- 
trated their  bodies.  Obeying  a  natural  impulse,  I 
rushed  from  the  dangerous  roadway  to  the  safer 
street  and  sought  the  protection  of  a  friendly  elm, 
behind  which  I  placed  myself,  and  then  looked 
around  to  ascertain  the  fate  of  my  comrades,  and  to 
determine  how  to  extricate  myself  from  the  perils 
of  the  position.     - 

There  stood  the  heroic  colonel,  sword  in  hand, 
giving  no  heed  to  the  peril  which  menaced  him^ 


and  solicitous  only  for  the  safety  of  his  men. 
''Scatter,  boys,  and  hug  the  earth,"  was  the  in- 
junction which  he  constantly  repeated  to  them, 
and  in  tones  that  were  audible  even  amid  the  roar 
of  the  artillery  and  all  the  discordant  sounds  of  the 
occasion.  I  soon  lost  sight  of  him,  however,  in 
the  confusion  of  the  moment,  but  I  subsequently 
learned  that  he  succeeded  in  bringing  ofP  his  regi- 
ment without  serious  loss  to  it  or  the  slightest  det- 
riment to  himself.  So  much  for  Carolina  pluck 
and  coolness. 

The  elms  of  Kinston  are  really  separated  from 
each  other  by  about  fifty  feet  of  space  and  they  ex- 
tend for  a  distance  which  cannot  exceed  a  mile  ; 
and  yet,  as  I  dodged  from  one  to  the  other  in  my 
hurried  flight,  they  seemed  at  least  one  hundred 
yards  apart  and  to  cover  many  leagues. 

"It  is  a  long  road  which  has  no  turning,"  how- 
ever, and  after  much  trepidation  nd  many  hair- 
breadth escapes  I  finally  found  myself  at  the  depot 
and  out  of  immediate  danger. 

The  scene  at  Kinston  was  hardly  less  terrible 
than  that  which  I  had  witnessed  at  New  Berne,  the 
only  difference  being  that  there  were  fewer  men 
engaged  in  it — the  principal  part  of  our  force  having 
been  captured  before  it  had  reached  the  bridge  ; 
and  that  the  actual  peril  was  far  greater,  as  artillery 
was  brought  to  bear  upon  the  fugitives.  Why  a 
stand  was  made  by  an  inferior  force  acting  on  the 
defensive,  with  a  deep  river  and  a  single  bridge  in 
its  rear,  I  have  never  been  able  to  comprehend. 
It  cannot  be  urged  that  there  was  no  alternative 
left  to  the  Confederate  commander,  for  he  had  been 
informed  of  the  strength  of  the  advancing  column 
and  he  deliberately  selected  his  position.  As  my 
own  life  was  near  being  sacrificed  to  this  peculiar 
strategy,  and  many  a  good  soldier  had  to  pay  for 

324  A  doctor's  experiences 

it  with  his  blood  and  his  liberty,  I  insisted  that 
the  war  department  should  call  upon  its  authors 
for  an  explanation  before  the  bar  of  a  court  of 
inquiry.  The  surrender  at  Appomattox  squared 
many  an  account  that  could  never  have  been  settled 
otherwise,  and  those  upon  whom  rests  the  respon- 
sibility of  the  disaster  at  Kinston  have  special 
reason  to  congratulate  themselves  for  the  interven- 
tion of  that  fortuitous  settlement  as  an  ultimate 
investigation  was  inevitable. 

Having  heard  that  some  wounded  men  ha&  been 
carried  to  a  house  on  the  main  road  immediately 
beyond  the  limits  of  Kinston,  I  hastened  to  it, 
hoping  to  be  able  to  render  assistance  to  the  surgeon 
in  charge,  and  at  the  same  time  deeming  it  best  to 
be  captured — as  it  seemed  probable  I  would  be — 
while  engaged  in  the  performance  of  my  legitimate 
duties.  On  arriving  there  I  found  that  a  Missis- 
sippi surgeon  had  taken  the  house  as  a  hospital, 
as  he  found  it  deserted  by  its  owner,  who  in-  his 
consternation  at  the  approach  of  the  enemy  had 
aban(  oned  his  possessions  and  fled  precipitately — 
as  many  did  in  those  trying  times,  to  their  subse- 
quent regret  and  final  ruin. 

In  this  inhospitable  w^rld  there  is  '^  no  place  like 
home,"  especially  if  it  be  held  in  fee  simple  and 
without  encumbrances,  and  the  last  thing  for  a 
sensible  man  to  do  is  to  abandon  it,  unless  con- 
strained by  an  imperative  obligation  or  an  impor- 
tunate sheriff. 

My  confrere  gladly  accepted  the  proffered  assist- 
ance, and  we  worked  harmoniously  together  until 
every  wounded  man  had  been  properly  attended  to 
and  sent  to  the  rear  in  passing  wagons  and  ambu- 
lances. So  absorbed  had  we  been  in  the  work  before 
us  that  we  utterly  failed  until  left  free  by  its  com- 
pletion to  realize  the  difficulties  of  the  situation, 


and  then  awakened  to  the  consciousness  that  we  were 
entirely  deserted  by  our  comrades^  with  the  alter- 
natives before  us  of  walking  thirty  miles  to  Golds- 
horough — foot-sore  and  fatigued  as  we  w^ere — or  of 
waiting  to  be  captured  by  the  enemy,  whose  arrival 
was  every  moment  to  be  expected. 

While  hesitating  between  the  horns  of  this  di- 
lemma, and  in  a  state  of  infinite  perplexity,  we 
w^ere  suprised  by  the  apparition  of  a  horse — with- 
out rider,  bridle  or  saddle — walking  quietly  toward 
us  from  the  direction  of  the  town.  Rushing  to  the 
gate,  we  opened  it,  drove  him  in,  and  secured  him 
without  the  slightest  difficulty.  In  fact,  he  seemed 
lonely  and  to  be  delighted  with  human  companion- 
ship, while  we  were  reciprocally  charmed  to  make 
his  acquaintance. 

Then,  opening  the  door  of  the  ''  carriage-house" 
— for  ''  our  right  there  was  none  to  dispute" — we 
found  within  it  an  old-fashioned  buggy,  with  an 
antiquated  harness  stored  beneath  its  seat.  The 
Good  Lord  seemed  indeed  to  be  with  us,  and  the 
children  of  Israel  could  scarcely  have  beheld  the 
''parting  of  the  waters"  in  their  behalf  with  more 
delight  that  we  experienced  at  this  timely  capture 
and  pertinent  discovery — this  providential  presen- 
tation of  the  means  of  escape  from  the  perils  and 
embarrassments  of  our  position. 

With  hands  trembling  with  excitement,  and  ears 
on  the  alert  for  the  ''  Yankee  cavalry,"  we  ran 
the  vehicle  into  the  yard,  attached  the  horse  to  it, 
and  drove  oflp  toward  home  and  liberty  with  a  shout 
of  triumph  and  a  prayer  of  thankfulness,  the 
happiest  men  in  "the  land  of  Dixie." 

As  our  steed  proved  to  be  a  famous  "goer"  we 
soon  overtook  the  column  of  fugitives,  which  had 
been  swollen  by  such  a  number  of  refugees  with 
their  flocks,  furniture  and  household  goods  gener- 

326  A  doctor's  experiences 

ally  that  it  offered  a  serious  impediment  to  our 
progress,  and  the  cocks  were  saluting  the  dawn 
when  we  entered  Goldsborough.  Driving  immedi- 
ately to  Gregory's  Hotel,  we  gave  our  jaded  horse 
to  the  hostler,  with  promises  of  rich  reward  for  the 
most  kindly  care  of  him,  and  then,  retiring  to  our 
beds,  we  slept  for  many  hours — the  sleep  of  the 
weary  and  the  rescued. 

Late  in  the  afternoon  I  awoke  from  my  protracted 
slumber  to  find  the  town  in  a  state  of  great  com- 
motion. Foster,  elated  by  his  success  at  Kinston, 
was  pushing  on  to  Goldsborough,  apparently  intent 
upon  invading  the  State  and  taking  possession  of 
Kaleigh.  Trains  were  arriving  constantl}^,  bring- 
ing regiments  from  a  distance  ;  horses  were  neigh- 
ing in  every  direction  ;  tents  were  pitched  and 
artillery  parked  in  the  public  squares  ;  wagons  and 
ambulances  were  peipetually  rolling  through  the 
streets  ;  couriers  with  anxious  mien  and  foaming 
horses  were  dashing  to  and  fro,  and  everything 
indicated  the  anticipation  of  serious  work  and  an 
effort  to  prepare  for  it.  I  also  learned  that  Gen- 
eral G.  W.  Smith  had  arrived  and  assumed  com- 
mand of  the  department,  which  looked  like  ^'  busi- 
ness," and  that,  too,  of  an  important  character. 
I  hurried,  therefore,  to  Raleigh,  to  report  to  the 
Governor,  and  obtained  permission  to  return  to 
Goldsborough,  so  as  to  take  part  in  the  events 
which  seemed  likely  to  transpire  there.  General 
Smith  was  an  old  and  valued  friend,  for  I  had 
always  been  one  of  his  enthusiastic  admirers,  and 
he  received  me  most  kindly,  saying  at  once  :  "  You 
are  the  very  man  I  was  looking  for.  You  must 
serve  as  my  medical  director.  Get  to  work  at 
once,  and  make  arrangements  for  a  severe  fight 
to-morrow  ;  for,  though  it  is  the  last  thing  I  want 

^  m   THREE    CONTINENTS.  32Y 

at  present  I  think  Foster  will   have  sense  enough 
to  force  it." 

^'But,  my  dear  General,"  I  answered^  ''the 
thing  you  propose  is  out  of  the  question.  I  am  a 
State  officer  and  the  Confederate  surgeons  would 
reject  my  authority  and  hate  me  for  the  remainder 
of  their  lives." 

He  would  listen  to  no  excuse,  however,  and  had 
the  order  issued  instantly  ;  and,  when  certain  of 
my  confreres  came  to  protest  against  it  he  silenced 
them  by  saying  :  ''I  am  here  in  the  interest  of 
North  Carolina,  and  I  shall  exercise  the  discretion 
of  utilizing  the  best  materials  which  I  find  around 
me.  You  must  either  resign  or  submit  to  my 
orders.  I  shall  arrest  the  first  man  who  manifests 
the  slightest  spirit  of  insubordination . " 

These  decided  words  had  the  desired  effect,  and 
the  protestants  were  awed  into  obedience,  though 
they  consoled  themselves  with  an  undying  hatred 
of  me  ;  for  professional  jealousy  is  ever  as  unjust 
as  it  is  vindictive,  and  assails  whatever  it  finds  in 
its  way  without  a  question  as  to  the  justice  of  its 

I  devoted  myself  diligently  to  the  work  of  pre- 
paring the  medical  department  for  its  expected 
labors,  and  joined  the  General's  staff  as  he  rode  to- 
ward the  field  so  as  to  be  the  better  able  to  take  in 
the  whole  situation  and  to  act  intelligently  in  re- 
gard to  it.  As  we  rode  along  1  met  one  of  the 
surgeons  who  had  shown  so  rebellious  a  spirit  in 
regard  to  my  appoiutment,  and,  by  way  of  testing 
his  metal  as  well  as  of  making  him  useful,  I  ordered 
him  to  follow  me.  His  brow  contracted  and  his 
cheek  blanched,  but  he  bowed  in  acquiescence,  and 
turned  his  horse  toward  the  expected  battle-field. 

Diverging  from  the  main  road  after  having 
crossed   the   county   bridge,   the    General    pushed 

328  A    doctor's  ■  EXPERIENCES 

through  a  narrow  strip  of  wood — where  the  presence 
of  several  dead  bodies  showed  that  our  picket  line 
had  been  posted — and  rode  into  the  plain  beyond. 
Here  one  of  the  most  magnificent  panoramas  pre- 
sented itself  that  can  be  conceived  of.     Behind  the 
railroad  embankment — from  the  bridge  to  the  point 
at  which  it  intersected  the  level  plain — the  Confed- 
erate troops  were  drawn  up  in  line  of  battle  with 
their    guns    at  "ready  arms,"~their    artillery  in 
position,  and  their  battle-flags  floating  in  the  wind, 
and  in  the  distance  were  large  masses  of  the  enemy 
with    the    '^star-spangled    banner'"'    waving    over 
them,  bands  playing  ''  Yankee  doodle,"  and  end- 
less batteries  of  artillery  tiring  rounds  of  shot  and 
shell,  while  their  polished -gun  barrels  and  bayonets 
glittered  in  the  rays  of  the  setting  sun  like  "errant 
stars  arrested  there."     Impressed  by  the  specta- 
cle. General  Smith  paused  in  midfield,  and  exposed 
as  he  was  and  as  conspicuous  as  his  uniform  and 
retinue  made  him,  gazed  long  and  earnestly  upon 
it.     I  turned  to  observe  its  efi'ects  upon  my  ambi- 
tious confrere,  but  only  in  time  to  catch  a  glimpse 
of  his  horse's  tail  as  he  disappeared  in   the  copse 
from  which  we  had  just  emerged.     Whether   his 
nerves  were  too  weak  for  "  the  racket"   or  impor- 
tant business  called  him  to  the  rear,  I  never  knew, 
but  I  could  not  refrain  from  directing  the  attention 
of  my  comrades  to  his  disappearance  and  joining 
in  the   hearty   laugh  with  which  they  greeted  it. 
Wisdom  if  not  valor  was  certainly  displayed  by  the 
fugitive,  for  during  the  next  half  hour  we  had  to 
indulge  in  the  pastime  of  following  our  chief  as  he 
rode  up  and  down  the  line  in  full  view  of  the  enemy^ 
a  target  for  artillerymen  and  sharpshooters.    Sud- 
denly dark  clouds  of  smoke  were  seen  to  issue  from 
the  bridge — which   had   been  daringly  fired  by  a 
party  of  volunteers  from  Foster's  army — and  the 


Federals  giving  cheer  after  cheer  and  firing  a  few- 
rounds  of  shell  and  solid  shot,  disappeared  from 
view,  satisfied  with  their  achievements  and  believ- 
ing themselves  heroes.  There  were  two  sides  to 
the  question,  how^ever.  With  a  hastily-collected 
and  imperfectly  organized  force  of  some  six  or  eight 
thousand  men.  General  Smith  succeeded  in  check- 
ing the  advance  of  Foster's  disciplined  army  of  forty 
thousand  experienced  troops,  thus  saving  the  State 
from  invasion  and  its  capital  from  destruction ;  and 
he  was  willing  enough  to  sacrifice  a  bridge — which 
was  reconstructed  in  a  few  weeks — to  the  risk  of 
the  unequal  contest  which  would  have  followed  an 
attack  on  his  command. 

The  truth  is,  the  bustle  and  parade  which  had 
been  made  at  Groldsborough  had  for  its  object  the 
production  of  an  exaggerated  idea  of  the  force  as- 
sembled there,  and  the  bridge  was  really  used  as 
^'tub  to  the  whale"  at  the  same  time,  with  the  re- 
sult of  so  deceiving  General  Foster  and  satisfying 
his  army  that  he  immediately  retired. 

No  more  raids  or  invasions  were  attempted  until 
Sherman  came  with  his  victorious  legions,  though 
we  occasionally  had  rumors  of  them.  The  militia 
colonel  of  Wayne  County,  though  a  devoted  Con- 
federate, was  one  of  the  most  excitable  and  sensa- 
tional of  men,  and  he  was  constantly  informing 
the  Governor  of  advances  upon  the  part  of  the 
enemy,  which  fortunately  were  confined  to  the 
hmits  of  his  own  imagination.  On  one  occasion, 
as  I  well  remember,  he  telegraphed  in  these  im- 
pressive words:  '^To  his  excellency,  Governor  Z. 
B.  Vance.  The  enemy  is  advancing,  Wayne  is 
ready."  To  which  the  Governor  responded  in- 
stantly, and  in  terms  as  laconic  as  explicit :  "Col- 
onel Moses,  Goldsborough.      Fire!"    but  I  hardly 

330  A  doctor's  experiences 

think  the  command  was  obeyed  as  I  never  received 
a  list  of  the  killed  and  wounded. 

Much  has  been  said  about  the  barbarity  shown 
to  Federal  prisoners,  as  I  have  mentioned  already, 
and  in  justice  to  my  immediate  chief,  North  Caro- 
lina's "  great  war  Governor,"  I  must  vindicate 
him  from  all  participation  in  it  by  relating  two  in- 
cidents which  came  under  my  immediate  notice. 

On  one  occasion,  while  passing  through  Salis- 
bury, I  made  it  a  point  to  visit  the  prison  there  in 
order  to  ascertain  for  myself  the  condition  of  its 
inmates.  I  found  it  overcrowded,  dirty  and  poorly 
provided  in  every  way  ;  while  the  prisoners  were 
surly  and  insubordinate  to  the  last  degree  even  in 
the  midst  of  their  squalor,  filth,  and  wretchedness. 
I  attempted  to  talk  kindly  to  them,  commiserating 
their  lot  and  promising  assistance  ;  but  they  only 
answered  mockingly  and  in  the  most  insulting 
terms.  On  \nj  return  to  Raleigh,  I  told  Governor 
Vance  of  my  visit,  and  gave  him  a  true  account  of 
the  forlorn  state  in  which  I  had  found  the  prisoners, 
as  well  as  of  the  resentful  and  rebellious  spirit 
which  pervaded  them.  '^Poor  fellows,"  said  he, 
''I  pity  them  from  the  bottom  of  my  heart.  It 
is  true  that  the  Confederate  authorities  give  them 
the  same  rations  as  their  own  soldiers,  and  that 
the  United  States  Government  is  mainly  responsi- 
ble for  their  condition  by  refusing  an  exchange 
when  we  have  declared  our  inability  to  properly 
provide  for  prisoners,  but  I  can't  help  feeling 
sorry  for  the  unfortunate  creatures  themselves. 
There  may  be  no  law  but  that  of  humanity  for 
it,  but  I  shall  devote  some  of  the  stores  belong- 
ing to  the  State  to  their  relief.  You  must  send 
them  from  your  depot  such  supplies  as  they  re- 
quire, and  I  will  instruct  my  commissary  general 
to  do  the  same." 



1  shall  only  be  too  happy,  Grovernor,  to  carry 
out  your  wishes,"  was  my  answer  ;  and  a  liberal 
supply  of  stimulants,  medicines,  hospital  stores, 
blankets  and  shoes  was  immediately  forwarded  to 
the  Salisbury  prisoners,  according  to  the  Govern- 
or's instructions. 

Shortly  after  the  battle  of  Benton  sville  I  re- 
ceived a  telegram  conveying  the  information  that  a 
train  would  arrive  at  a  certain  hour  filled  with 
wounded  men.  I,  therefore,  immediately  ordered 
the  surgeons  in  charge  of  the  Wayside  Hospital 
to  have  prepared  and  carried  to  the  station  a  plen- 
tiful supply  of  coffee,  brandy-toddy,  meat  and 
bread.  I  also  instructed  my  assistants  to  be  on 
hand  at  the  hour  indicated  with  surgical  dressings, 
etc.,  and  to  hold  themselves  in  readiness  for  such 
work  as  they  might  be  called  upon  to  do. 

Upon  the  arrival  of  the  train,  I  found  that  it 
contained  about  an  equal  number  of  wounded  men 
from  the  two  armies — Confederates  and  Federals — 
occupying  alternate  cars,  and  all  hungry,  ex- 
hausted and  suffering. 

Followed  by  my  assistants  and  hospital  attend- 
ants, I  entered  the  first  car,  and  passed  consecu- 
tively through  them  all,  giving  each  sufferer  in 
turn  food,  drink,  and  such  surgical  attention  as  he 
required,  without  taking  into  consideration  either 
the  color  of  his  coat  or  the  side  upon  which  he  had 
fought.  Should  I  live  a  thousand  years  I  shall 
never  forget  the  expressions  of  gratitude  with 
which  those  stricken  men  received  my  ministra- 
tions or  the  terms  of  indignation  which  were  em- 
ployed by  a  number  of  ''original  secessionists" 
— who,  instead  of  idling  at  the  depot,  should  have 
been  in  the  army  fighting  the  battles  which  they 
had  invoked — because  I  had  presumed  to  distribute 
to  the  Yankees  the  stores  which  rightfully  belonged 

332  A  doctor's  experiences 

to  the  State,  and  to  which  the  Confederate  wounded 
were  primarily  if  not  exclusively  entitled.  I  was 
attacked  so  severely  for  it  afterward  that  I  tendered 
my  resignation. 

I  immediately  sought  Governor  Vance  and  ex- 
plained the  circumstances  to  him.  "  Resignation, 
the  devil,"  said  he,  with  that  charming  frankness 
and  kind  consideration  which  have  made  him  the 
idol  of  so  many  hearts;  '"'you  have  acted  like  a 
gentleman  and  a  Christian.  Had  your  conduct 
been  different  you  would  have  incurred  my  serious 
displeasure."  And,  yet,  he  was  the  man  upon 
whom  General  Lee  relied  as  his  right  arm  in  the 
darkest  days  of  the  Confederacy's  history,  and 
who,  though  opposed  to  secession  in  the  premises, 
did  more  in  the  end  to  sustain  "  the  cause  "  than 
all  the  carping  and  dodging  ''originals"  com- 

In  view  of  these  facts,  and  of  many  others  which 
I  could  relate  if  space  permitted,  it  is  clear  that  no 
charge  of  cruelty  to  defenseless  prisoners  can  be 
brought  against  him,  and  that  his  record  in  this 
regard,  as  in  all  others,  is  as  pure  and  stainless  as 
the  icicle  upon  Diana's  temple. 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  was  with  the  Governor  when  the  dispatch  ar- 
rived announcing  the  supreme  disaster  which  had 
befallen  G-eneral  Lee,  and  I  well  remember  the 
anguish  of  mind  which  it  occasioned  him.  We 
had  heard  of  the  retreat  from  Petersburg,  and  of 
the  arrival  of  the  President  and  his  Cabinet  at 
Charlotte  ;  but  we  had  taught  ourselves  to  rely  so 
implicitly  upon  the  valor  of  the  army  and  the  re- 
sources of  its  commander  that  the  idea  of  a  fatal 
and  final  catastrophe  was  difficult  to  realize.  A 
consultation  was  held  the  next  day  in  the  execu- 
tive chamber,  at  which  the  staff  of  the  Governor 
and  many  of  the  leading  men  of  the  State  assisted, 
the  object  of  which  was  to  determine  what  was 
best  to  be  done  toward  saving  the  capital  and  the 
public  property  from  destruction,  as  General  John- 
ston had  uncovered  Raleigh  and  General  Sherman 
was  advancing  rapidly  upon  it.  The  Governor  im- 
mediately announced  his  intention  to  ask  no  terms 
for  himself  and  to  follow  the  army  and  the  gov- 
ernment to  the  end. 

It  was  then  concluded  to  send  a  commission  to 
General  Sherman,  informing  him  that  his  entrance 
into  the  city  would  be  unopposed,  and  requesting 
him  to  take  measures  for  its  protection  and  that  of 
the  public  and  private  p^roperty  which  it  contained. 

Ex-Governor  Graham,  formerly  Secretary  of  the 

334  A  doctor's  experiences 

Navy,  and  ex-Governor  Swain,  president  of  the 
University — two  of  the  most  distinguished  and 
lionored  citizens  of  the  State — were  selected  as  com- 
missioners, while  Major  John  W.  Devereux,  quar- 
termaster of  the  State,  was  designated  as  the  officer 
to  conduct  the  train  and  to  carry  the  flag  of  truce. 

Prompted  by  an  inherent  love  of  adventure,  as 
well  as  by  a  desire  to  contribute  to  the  success  of 
an  enterprise  which  seemed  so  honorable  in  itself 
and  so  important  in  its  consequences,  I  asked  per- 
mission of  Governor  Vance  to  accompany  the  com- 
mission and  to  be  associated  with  its  direction. 
He  promptly  consented,  saying,  jocularly  :  ''I  be- 
lieve, Warren,  you  would  volunteer  to  go  to  the 
devil  if  an  expedition  were  started  for  the  domains 
of  his  Satanic  Majesty,"  and  gave  me  a  verbal  or- 
der to  the  end  which  I  have  indicated.  I  expected 
to  return  in  a  few  hours,  and  to  accompany  the 
Governor  in  his  retreat.  Indeed,  all  of  my  prep- 
arations had  been  made  with  that  object  in  view, 
my  family  having  been  sent  to  Edenton,  my  am- 
bulance with  my  personal  effects  having  been  dis- 
patched to  Hillsboro',  and  my  horse  being 'kept 
saddled  and  bridled  so  that  I  might  start  at  a  mo- 
ment's notice. 

With  an  engine,  a  tender  and  a  passenger  car 
over  which  a  white  flag  floated,  we  left  the  Ka- 
leigh  depot,  and  soon  reached  the  Confederate 
lines — for  a  portion  of  the  cavalry  had  been  left  to 
confront  the  advancing  army  and  to  watch  its 
movements— and  after  some  preliminary  formali- 
ties, the  train  moved  on  in  the  direction  of  the 
Federal  pickets.  Just  as  we  were  on  the  point  of 
entering  the  hostile  lines  a  Confederate  officer  was 
observed  galloping  after  us,  making  signs  for  us  to 
halt,  and  when  we  had  done  so,  he  informed  us 
that  President  Davis  or  some  hmli  official  coun- 


termanded  the  flag  of  truce,  and  commanded  the 
return  of  the  commissioners. 

As  incomprehensible  as  this  command  seemed  at 
the  time,  there  was  nothing  left  but  to  obey  it, 
and  ordering  the  engineer  to  reverse  his  engine, 
we  started  for  Raleigh.  I  have  since  learned  that 
the  President  had  been  induced  to  believe  that  the 
object  of  the  mission  was  to  segregate  North  Caro- 
lina from  her  Southern  sisters  and  to  obtain  inde- 
pendent terms  for  her  at  the  hands  of  the  United 
States  authorities ;  whereas  it  was  sent,  simply 
and  exclusively,  to  prevent  the  burning  of  the  cap- 
ital, or,  in  other  words,  to  save  it  from  the  fate  of 

All  doubt  in  this  regard  is  set  at  rest  by  the 
terras  of  the  order  which  Sherman  issued  in  re- 
sponse to  the  appeals  of  the  commissioners,  for 
they  eventually  reached  him,  as  1  shall  relate  in  a 
few  moments.  It  should  also  be  remembered  that 
the  commission  was  sent  several  days  suhseque7it  to 
the  surrender  at  Appomattox,  and  afte?-  General 
Johnston  had  announced  his  purpose  to  uncover 
Raleigh,  and  that  it  started  not  alone  with  the 
knowledge  of  General  Hardee — who  was  then  in 
command  of  Raleigh — but  with  his  entire  approba- 
tion^ as  is  established  by  the  fact  that  it  left  the 
city  by  his  authority,  and  with  instructions  from 
him  that  it  should  be  sent  through  under  the  pro- 
tection of  a  regular  flag  of  truce. 

I  have  been  thus  particular  in  giving  the  facts 
connected  with  the  sending  of  this  commission, 
because  they  have  been  entirely  misrepresented, 
and  the  public  has  never  been  correctly  informed 
in  regard  to  them.  It  was  nothing  more  or  less 
than  a  patriotic  and  judicious  effort  to  save  the 
capital  of  the  State  from  destruction,  after  the 
Confederate  authorities  had  been  compelled  to  aban- 

336  A  doctor's  experiences 

don  it,  with  a  victorious  and  vindictive  army  at  its 

That  which  was  repudiated  as  impolitic  and  im- 
proper was  subsequently  demonstrated  b}^  the  logic 
of  events  to  be  a  measure  of  supreme  wisdom  and 
23ropriety,  as  I  shall  proceed  to  establish. 

We  had  traveled  several  miles  on  our  homeward 
journey,  and  were  out  of  the  reach  of  danger  as 
Ave  supposed,  when  I  was  suddenly  startled  by  hear- 
ing shouting  and  firing  in  advance  of  us  and  by 
perceiving  that  the  train  had  stopped.  Rushing 
to  the  front  door  of  the  car,  I  beheld  a  scene  and 
had  an  experience  which  can  never  be  blotted  from 
my  memor}^  About  one  hundred  yards  in  front 
of  the  train  there  was  a  large  body  of  cavalry, 
whose  blue  uniforms  proclaimed  them  to  be  Fed- 
erals, and  whose  presence  indicated  that  they  had 
flanked  our  forces  and  interposed  themselves  be- 
tween the  Confederate  line  and  the  city. 

The  moment  that  I  appeared  upon  the  platform 
they  fired  a  volley  at  me,  and  then,  with  Wild 
yells  and  leveled  weapons,  came  rushing  toward 
the  train,  some  directing  themselves  to  the  engi- 
neer and  others  to  myself.  I  escaped  death  in  the 
first  instance  by  instinctively  crouching  behind  the 
tender,  and  in  the  second  by  waving  my  handker- 
chief in  token  of  surrender,  and  proclaiming  my 
military  status,  but  I  certainly  was  nearer  to  it 
than  at  any  time  in  my  life.  Putting  on  as  brave 
a  face  as  I  could  under  the  circumstances,  with  the 
muzzle  of  a  hundred  cocked  carbines  and  revolvers 
pointed  at  my  head  and  a  crowd  of  desperate  cav- 
alrymen cursing  and  hooting  around  me,  I  de- 
manded the  name  of  the  officer  in  command,  and 
claimed  his  protection  as  a  surgeon  and  a  prisoner 
of  war.  "  My  name  is  Godfrey,"  he  said,  ''  Col- 
onel Godfrey,  of  General  Kilpatrick's  slaff.     I  will 


conduct  you  to  headquarters^  but  you  niust  keep 
near  to  me,  for  these  are  a  wild  set  of  fellows,  and 
it  is  difficult  to  control  them."  Taking  him  at 
his  word,  I  leaped  from  the  car  so  as  to  "  keep  as 
near  to  him  as  possible,"  and  looking  toward  the 
other  end  of  the  train,  I  saw  the  commissioners  and 
their  suite  descending  from  it,  the  most  forlorn  and 
dilapidated-looking  individuals  that  can  be  con- 
ceived of,  for  while  I  had  engaged  the  commander 
in  conversation  his  men  had  entered  the  car  and 
^' gone  through"  the  entire  party.  My  position 
had  been  one  of  great  danger,  but  it  had  saved  me 
from  the  robbery  to  which  the  others  were  sub- 
jected, and,  though  I  had  oue  hundred  dollars  in 
gold  about  me,  as  well  as  my  watch  and  chain,  I 
lost  nothiug — which  was  some  compensation  at 
least  for  the  fearful  ordeal  through  which  I  had 

We  were  then  conducted  to  the  presence  of  the 
commanding  general,  and  though  I  immediately 
informed  him  who  the  commissioners  were,  and  of 
the  nature  of  their  mission,,  pointing  to  the  white 
flag  which  was  still  flying  over  the  train,  in  con- 
firmation of  my  statements,  he  affected  to  regard 
us  as  spies,  and  was  grossly  insulted. 

In  the  midst  of  the  interview  a  brisk  engage- 
ment began  in  such  close  proximity  that  he  was 
ojlad  to  bring  it  to  a  conclusion,  commanding  as  he 
did  so  that  the  prisoners  should  be  sent  to  the  rear 
and  kept  under  guard  until  he  had  determined  what 
disposition  to  make  of  them. 

While  walking  to  the  rear  we  encountered  a 
number  of  regiments  whose  soldiers  amused  them- 
selves by  indulging  in  rude  jests  at  our  expense, 
making  the  venerable  ex-governors  their  especial 
butts  and  targets,  as  they  were  dressed  in  long- 

338  A  doctor's  experiences 

tailed  coats  and  tall  beaver  hsits,  anfe-beUwn  relics^ 
which  they  had  especially  donned  for  the  occasion. 

But  with  measured  tread  and  the  dignity  of 
Roman  Senators,  the  commissioners  walked  along 
indignant  to  the  last  degree,  but  stately,  silent  and 
apparently  as  indifferent  to  their  tormentors  as  to- 
the  ]-ails  upon  the  surrounding  fences  or  to  the 
weeds  in  the  neighboring  fields.  Indecorous  as 
were  these  assaults^,  and  philosophically  as  they 
were  borne,  there  was  something  so  essentially  lu- 
dicrous in  the  whole  perforrpance  that  despite  the 
time  and  circumstances  I  could  not  help  being 
amused  or  succeed  in  repressing  an  occasional  out- 
burst of  laughter.  Every  now  and  then  they  gave 
me  a  shot  as  well,  but  having  less  dignity  to  sup- 
port and  more  experience  with  the  manners  of  the 
field  to  fall  back  upon,  I  only  smiled  in  return  and 
let  them  have  their  fun  without  comment  or  con- 
tention. Finally  the  staff  officer  in  charge  ordered 
a  halt  and  bade  us  adieu,  informing  us,  as  he  did 
so,  of  his  purpose  to  seek  us  later,  and  instructing 
the  guard  in  very  emphatic  terms  that  its  exclu- 
sive business  was  to  protect  us  and  to  prevent 
our  escape. 

As  there  was  a  house  upon  the  roadside,  we  en- 
tered it,  and  with  the  permission  of  the  owners 
made  it  our  headquarters  while  awaiting  our  fate. 
The  house  was  occupied  by  two  old  people,  who- 
after  years  of  patient  toil  had  accumulated  a  few 
comforts  for  their  declining  years.  They  Avere 
greatly  frightened  at  the  sudden  appearance  of 
Kilpatrick  and  his  ^'bummers,"  but  congratulated 
themselves  that  so  far  they  had  been  left  unmolested. 
We  encouraged  them  to  the  best  of  our  ability,  and 
promised  that  the  guard,  which  had  been  left  with 
us  should  extend  its  protection  to  them  and' to 
their  possessions.     Fatal  mistake  !     Vain  promise  t 


No  sooner  had  the  officer  returned  to  his  post  than 
the  very  guard  upon  whose  good  offices  we  had  re- 
lied fell  to  work  and  robbed  them  mercilessly  of 
everything  which  belonged  to  them.  Deaf  alike 
to  our  protestations  and  to  the  appeals  of  their 
victims,  they  forced  themselves  into  the  house  and 
rifled  every  trunk,  chest  and  drawer  that  they 
could  find,  even  ripping  up  the  beds  and  pillows 
in  their  remorseless  search  for  booty.  Such  a  scene 
of  pillage  T  never  witnessed  before,  and  hope  never 
to  see  again,  and  yet,  being  without  arms  and  with 
our  own  lives  at  the  mercy  of  the  desperadoes,  we 
were  powerless  to  prevent  the  outrage  or  to  punish 
its  perpetrators.  After  a  lapse  of  several  hours — 
they  were  indeed  long  and  dreary  ones — we  were 
1  econducted  to  General  Kilpatrick's  presence^  and 
were  informed  that  he  had  concluded  to  send  us  to 
General  Sherman's  headquarters,  which  were  some 
ten  miles  distant  in  the  direction  of  Goldsborough. 
Instead  of  our  special  train  a  hand-car  was  pro- 
vided for  our  conveyance,  which  made  the  journey 
dangerous  and  exciting  to  the  last  degree  ;  for  a 
portion  of  the  road  was  supposed  to  be  in  possession 
of  Hampton,  while  the  remainder  was  held  by 
Sherman.  The  propulsion  of  the  car  was  confided 
to  two  negroes  while  I  was  compelled  to  expose 
myself  conspicuously  in  it  for  the  first  half  of  the 
distance,  my  uniform  being  the  newest  and  most 
conspicuous,  so  as  to  secure  immunity  from  the  Con- 
federates, and  the  staff  officer  to  take  my  place  for 
the  second  half  in  order  to  prevent  an  attack  by  the 
Federals  You  can  imagine  better  than  I  can  por- 
tray what  were  my  emotions  as  I  stood  up  in  the 
car,  and  was  slowly  propelled  in  the  direction  of 
General  Sherman's  army,  as  it  was  impossible  to 
determine  how  far  my  uniform  would  be  respected 
by  our  side  or  when  it  might  invite  a  fire  from  the 
other — the  exact  position  of  the  respective  pickets 

■340  A  doctor's  experiexces 

Leing  necessarily  unknown.  For  about  an  lionr, 
therefore,  I  faced  death  continuously — expecting 
every  instant  to  feel  a  ball  crashing  through  my 
body — and  all  because,  in  a  spirit  of  adventure  and 
from  a  desire  to  secure  the  success  of  a  plan  which 
I  deemed  of  vital  importance  to  the  State,  I  had 
volunteered  for  an  enterprise  beyond  the  domain  of 
my  legitimate  department.  Ne  sutor  ultra  crepi- 
dam  has  been  the  motto  of  my  subsequent  existence. 

I  do  not  deny  the  fact  that  I  was  dreadfully  nevv- 
ous  while  thus  exposed,  though  I  would  rather  have 
died  than  have  permitted  my  companions  to  know 
the  real  state  of  my  mind  ;  and  I  forced  myself  to 
appear  as  cool  and  collected  as  if  I  were  simply  per- 
forming some  routine  work  in  my  office. 

Governor  Vance  tells  a  story  which  illustrates 
my  own  experience  in  this  regard  most  admirably. 
According  to  him  a  rabbit  once  jumped  up  before  a 
soldier  who  was  in  a  tight  place,  and  w^ent  scudding 
away  for  its  life.  Stopping  deliberately  and  watch- 
ing intently  the  retreating  animal,  he  addressed  it 
in  this  wise  :  "Go  it  Molly  Cotton-tail!  Go  it 
Molly  Cotton-tail!    Go  it  w^hile  you  may! — for  I 

wish  I  may  be  d if  I  had  no  more  reputation  to 

lose  at  home  than  you  have,  there  would  be  a  foot 
race  between  us,  you  bet." 

The  courage  upon  w^hich  men  mount  the  highest 
pinnacle  of  fame  is  not  that  born  of  insensibility  to 
danger,  but  of  a  pride  of  character  wdiich  dominates 
the  fear  of  death  and  chains  them  to  the  post  of 
duty  at  all  hazards  and  at  any  sacrifice. 

Genei-al  Sherman  received  the  commissioners  with 
marked  consideration,  accepting  and  respecting  the 
flag  of  truce  notwithstanding  its  previous  recall  or 
the  circuitous  route  by  which  it  reached  him.  On 
the  following  morning  he  sent  them  back  in  the  cap- 
tured   train,   bearing    an    order    commanding    the 


soldiers  and  officers  of  his  army  to  protect  tlie 
city  of  Raleigh  and  all  the  public  and  private  prop- 
erty within  its  limits,  provided  that  no  act  of  hos- 
tility was  committed  there  against  the  forces  of  the 
United  States. 

On  arriving  at  Raleigh  we  were  greeted  with 
the  sight  of  the  burning  depot  and  the  announcement 
that  the  Governor  and  state  officials  had  departed. 
Having  heard  of  the  capture  of  the  train  and  our 
detention  as  prisoners  of  war,  he  concluded  that  the 
mission  had  failed,  and  at  an  early  hour  of  the 
succeeding  morning  he  left  the  city  to  share  the 
fortunes  of  the  falling  Confederacy,  as  he  had  an- 
nounced his  purpose  to  do  in  the  premises.  The 
commissioners  therefore  placed  General  Sherman's 
order  in  the  hands  of  Major  Devereux  and  myself, 
with  instructions  to  use  it  according  to  our  discre- 
tion, and  then  attempted  to  reach  their  homes 
further  west. 

Hurrying  to  the  point  whither  the  mayor  had 
gone  to  surrender  the  city  to  Kilpatrick  and  to 
crave  his  clemency  in  its  behalf,  we  arrived  just  in 
time  to  stay  the  hand  of  that  vindictive  partisan  by 
presenting  to  his  astonished  gaze  the  considerate 
order  of  his  superior.  He  had  no  conception  of  its 
existence  until  that  mDment,  and  though  he"  read 
it  with  a  scowling  countenance,  he  wilted  under  its 
peremptory  terms  and  assumed  immediately  an  air 
of  extreme  complaisance.  In  a  word,  it  was  thus 
made  apparent  that  the  commission  had  under  the 
direction  of  Providence  been  made  an  instrument 
for  the  preservation  of  the  State  capital — had  saved 
Raleigh  from  the  fate  of  Columbia.  In  the  prog- 
ress of  events  the  benefits  accruing  from  it  became 
still  more  conspicuous,  for  though  more  than  one 
hundred  thousand  victorious  troops,  habituated  to 
plundering,  and  with  their  worst  passions  excited 

342  A  doctor's  experiences 

by  the  unfortunate  circumstances  of  the  President's 
assassination,  occupied  the  city  for  several  weeks, 
public  and  private  property  was  absolutely  re- 
spected, and  not  a  citizen  was  injured  or  insulted. 

I  am  proud,  therefore,  to  have  been  connected 
with  this  mission,  and  to  realize  that  it  was  my 
lot  to  contribute  in  some  measure  to  its  success. 

Kilpatrick,  thus  baffled  in  his  vengeance  and  de- 
prived of  his  expected  booty,  sought  consolation  in 
a  grand  entry  into  the  city.  Accompanied  by  his 
staff  and  body-guard  and  followed  by  the  mayor 
and  common  council  on  foot,  with  flags  flying  and 
bugles  sounding,  he  marched  up  Fayetteville  street 
and  formally  took  possession  of  the  capital  in  the 
name  of  the  authorities  of  the  United  States. 

An  incident  occurred,  however,  on  this  triumphal 
march  which  came  near  cutting  short  his  career, 
and  threatened  the  most  serious  consequences  to 
the  city  and  its  inhabitants. 

Just  after  the  cavalcade  had  passed  the  Yar- 
borough  House  two  soldiers  belonging  to  Wheeler's 
cavalry  rushed  out  of  a  store  which  they  had  been 
engaged  in  pillaging,  mounted  their  horses,  fired 
at  Kilpatrick,  and  fled  precipitately  in  the  direction 
of  the  retreating  army. 

For  some  moments  the  greatest  excitement  pre- 
vailed. The  body-guard  deployed  hastily  as  skir- 
mishers ;  the  staff  surrounded  its  chief  so  as  to 
protect  him  with  their  bodies  ;  and  the  air  was 
filled  with  a  din  of  mingled  shouts,  commands  and 
imprecations.  The  marauders  had  fired  so  quickly 
that,  though  the  report  of  their  guns  had  been 
heard  generally,  only  a  few  persons  knew  precisely 
what  had  occurred.  Having  witnessed  the  whole 
affair,  I  rushed  up  to  Kilpatrick  and  explained  it 
as  rapidly  and  as  thoroughly  as  possible,  and  en- 
treated him  to  remember  that  it  was  only  an  act  of 


individual  ruffianism  for  which  its  perpetrators 
alone  should  be  held  responsible.  Fortunately,  he 
took  the  right  view  of  the  situation,  and  gave  vent 
to  his  anger  by  ordering  that  the  fugitives  should 
be  immediately  pursued  and  when  captured  hung 
in  the  Capitol  grounds.  ''  All  rights  General,"  I 
said,  ''but  do  not  hold  the  city  responsible  for 
their  act,  I  implore  you."  He  scowled  fiercely  and 
said  :  ''If  they  are  not  captured  and  hung  I  shall 
hold  somebody  responsible,"  giving  me  a  glance  of 
intense  malignity  ;  and  it  really  looked  as  if  he 
might  expend  his  vengeance  on  me  or  on  any  one 
who  chanced  to  be  in  the  way  if  the  perpetrators  of 
the  outrage  were  not  speedily  captured  and  executed. 
In  about  half  an  hour  I  saw  the  pursuers  re- 
turning with  the  marauders  tied  to  their  saddles, 
and  I  soon  ascertained  that  they  were  to  be  hung 
"  within  ten  minutes  to  the  nearest  tree  " — a  judg- 
ment which  was  immediately  executed. 

344  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  should  have  mentioned  that  a  few  moments 
after  my  arrival  at  Sherman's  camp  an  officer  aj)- 
proached  me,  and  introducing  himself  as  ^'  Colonel 
Baylor,"  asked  :  ''  Are  you  Dr.  Warren,  of  Eden- 
ton  ?" 

"Yes,  and  I  know  you  very  well  by  reputation," 
I  answered.  , 

"  You  must  then  be  my  guest  for  this  occasion," 
he  said,  and  conducting  me  to  his  tent,  he  over- 
whelmed me  with  kindness — ^treated  me  not  as  a 
prisoner,  but  as  a  brother  in  all  regards. 

After  our  separation  in  Kaleigh  I  never  saw 
him  again  until  a  short  time  since  in  Paris — 
embracing  a  period  of  eighteen  years — when  I 
hastened  ''to  kill  the  fatted  calf  for  him  in  re- 
turn for  his  previous  kindness.  To  be  thus  treated 
when  I  was  hungry,  fatigued  and  depressed  by  the 
prospects  of  imprisonment,  produced  a  lasting  im- 
pression upon  my  mind  and  filled  my  heart  with 
the  sincerest  gratitude. 

Though  a  Virginian  by  birth  he  remained  in  the 
United  States  Army  during  the  war,  and  conse- 
quently made  many  enemies  among  his  own  people, 
but  he  is  too  brave  and  true  a  man  to  have  been 
promjjted  by  other  than  the  highest  conceptions  of 
duty,  and  his  fidelity  to  the  obligations  of  friendship 
shows  him  to  be  a  gentleman  by  instinct  as  well  as 


by  descent  and  association.  There  are  two  things 
aiDout  which  I  make  it  a  rule  never  to  quarrel  with 
any  man,  and  they  are  his  religion  and  his  politics, 
however  widely  he  may  differ  from  me  or  whatever 
the  extremes  into  which  they  carry  him.  Ortho- 
doxy or  heterodoxy  in  these  regards  are  matters  for 
the  supreme  intelligence  alone,  and  he  who  erects 
a  standard  by  w^hich  to  determine  them  for  others 
simply  assumes  the  role  of  a  bigot  and  a  partisan. 
The  road  which  a  man  conscientiously  believes  in 
and  persistently  adheres  to  is  ''  the  way"  for  him, 
and  no  one  has  the  right  to  criticise  or  to  question 
him  for  following  it. 

The  succeeding  days  were  exciting  ones  in  Ra- 
leigh. General  Sherman  having  received  intelli- 
gence of  the  assassination  of  President  Lincoln,  and 
fearing  its  effect  upon  the  soldiers,  called  a  con- 
sultation of  its  most  prominent  citizens,  and  advised 
with  them  as  to  the  best  means  of  breaking  it  to 
the  army  and  of  providing  against  hostile  demon- 
stration upon  its  part,  thus  showing  throughout 
an  absolute  loyalty  to  the  engagements  which 
he  had  undertaken  with  the  commissioners. 
Thanks  to  his  forethought  and  promptness  of  ac- 
tion the  danger  w^as  tided  over,  and  the  feeling  of 
intense  anxiety  which  pervaded  the  community  for 
many  days  after  that  great  calamity  gave  place  to 
a  sentiment  of  security  and  confidence. 

Apart  from  the  conservatism  which  General 
Sherman  displayed  in  his  negotiations  with  General 
Johnston,  there  is  a  page  of  secret  history  upon 
which  his  liberal  views  toward  North  Carolina  and 
her  people  are  most  conspicuously  written. 

General  Frank  Blair  took  up  his  headquarters 
in  my  house  with  my  consent,  and  in  proposing  to 
do  so  he  assured  me  that  I  might  ''  go  further  and 
fare  worse"  in  the  way  of  a  guest — that  some  one 

346  A  doctor's  experiences 

might  take  forcible  jDOSsession  of  my  premises  and 
drive  me  out  of  them.  I  was  thus  placed  in  position 
to  acquire  a  knowledge  of  the  efforts  which  he  in 
conjunction  with  General  Scofield  made  to  secure 
the  restoration  of  North  Carolina  to  the  Union  with- 
out that  preliminary  process  of '^ reconstruction" 
which  subsequently  proved  so  prolific  of  humiliation 
and  annoyance  to  her  people. 

Coming  home  at  a  late  hour  one  night  he  said  to 
me  :  "  Get  pen,  ink,  and  paper  and  help  me  to  pre- 
pare a  document  of  great  importance.  You  must 
do  the  writing,  for  I  am  fatigued,  and  do  not  wish 
my  staff  to  kno^\^  anything  about  the  matter  at 
present."  I  did  as  he  requested,  and  we  prepared 
together  an  order  such  as  he  informed  me  Sherman 
was  disposed  to  issue,  as  it  conformed  with  the  views 
which  Mr. ^Lincoln  had  recently  expressed  to  him. 

By  the  terms  of  that  order  North  Carolina  was 
to  be  immediately  restored  to  the  Union  without 
the  loss  of  a  single  element  of  her  sovereignty,  and 
with  all  the  machinery  of  her  existing  government 
— with  Governor  Yance  in  the  executive  chair  and 
his  administration  re-established  in  statu  quo. 

On  the  succeeding  day  the  General  assured  me 
that  he  had  had  an  interview  with  Sherman,  and 
had  exhibited  to  him  the  draft  of  the  order  which 
I  had  written,  and  that  he  (Sherman)  had  ap- 
proved of  it  in  every  particular,  and  Avould  issue 
it  at  once.  We  retired  that  night  with  light  hearts 
in  the  full  conviction  that  we  had  solved  the  ]Drob- 
lem  of  reconstruction  so  far  as  North  Carolina  was 
concerned,  and  had  restored  the  Union  of  the 
fathers  of  the  republic  in  all  of  its  original  integ- 
rity, only  to  be  awakened  on  the  succeeding. morn- 
ing by  the  terrible  intelligence  of  Mr.  Lincoln's 
assassination  and  the  consequent  overthrow  of  our 
cherished  plans.     Of  course  with  that  dire  calam- 


ity  staring  him  in  the  face,  and  the  succession  of  a 
man  to  the  Presidency  with  whose  views  he  was 
unacquainted,  and  who  immediately  inaugurated 
the  policy  of  '"'making  treason  odious,"  General 
Sherman  could  not  issue  the  order,  and  was  even 
compelled  to  recede  from. his  half  completed  arrange- 
ments with  General  Johnston. 

Within  a  month  from  that  time  Governor  Vance, 
instead  of  occupying  the  executive  chair  of  North 
Carolina,  was  himself  an  inmate  of  the  old  Capi- 
tol prison,  and  it  was  not  until  after  many  a  long 
year  and  a  terrible  experience  with  arbitrary  mili- 
tary rulers,  partisan  provisional  governors,  greedy 
carpet-baggers,  adventurers,  bloody  Ku-klux  clans 
and  a  general  bankruptcy,  that  the  State  regained 
that  position  in  the  Union  to  which  the  plan  inau- 
gurated by  Generals  Blair  and  Scofield,  and  ap- 
proved by  General  Sherman,  would  have  imme- 
diately secured  to  her. 

I  do  not  pretend  to  enter  into  the  question  of 
General  Sherman's  previous  conduct,  but  I  can  tes- 
tify from  facts  within  my  personal  knowledge  that 
from  the  day  of  the  visit  of  the  commissioners  up 
to  that  of  his  departure  from  North  Carolina,  he 
displayed  a  liberality  of  sentiment,  a  kindness  of 
feeling  and  a  loyalty  of  conduct  which  did  him  in- 
finite honor,  and  entitled  him  to  be  regarded  as  a 
friend  and  benefactor  of  her  people.  '^Fiat  justi- 
tia,  mat  coelum," 

I  witnessed  the  grand  review  which  he  held  at 
Raleigh  when  the  final  collapse  of  the  Confederacy 
afforded  him  an  opportunity  to  give  free  indulgence 
to  that  love  of  display  which  constitutes  so  impor- 
tant a  factor  in  his  singular  character. 

Seventeen  army  corps,  each  with  a  full  comple- 
ment of  cavalry  and  artillery,  marched  up  Fayette- 
ville  street  and  by  the  main  gate   of  the    Capitol, 

348  A  doctor's  experiences 

where  the  General,  mounted  on  his  blooded  charger 
in  grande  tenue^  and  surrounded  by  his  staff  officers 
and  major-generals,  awaited  to  inspect  them.  Each 
man  of  that  vast  multitude,  in  the  completeness  of 
his  equijDment,  the  precision  of  his  movements  and 
in  all  that  constitutes  a  perfect  soldier,  looked 
more  like  a  member  of  some  pampered  volunteer 
company  than  a  veterarf  of  a  hundred  fields,  while 
the  entire  mass  seemed  endowed  with  the  intelli- 
gence and  spontaneity  of  a  vitalized  organism.  As  I 
listened  for  hours  to  the  tread  of  these  countless 
legions,  so  complete  in  their  equipment,  thorough 
in  their  organization  and  admirable  in  their  dis 
cipline — the  representative  of  all  that  could  be 
conceived  of  ^'  the  pomp  and  circumstance  of  glori- 
ous war" — I  could  but  feel  a  profound  admiration 
for  the  genius  which  had  perfected  such  a  mighty 
instrument  of  destruction  and  conquest,  and  a  su- 
preme realization  of  the  heroism  and  fortitude 
of  the  ragged,  half-starved  and  comparatively  un- 
organized army  which  for  four  years  of  unequal 
conflict  had  defied  its  power,  and  had  finally  suc- 
cumbed, not  so  much  to  its  prowess  as  to  the  force 
of  circumstances  and  to  the  laws  of  nature. 

And  reflecting  that  the  war  was  over,  I  forgot 
that  these  matchless  soldiers  were  our  conquerors, 
and  my  heart  beat  with  a  fuller  tide  and  a  prouder 
impulse  as  I,  recognized  them  as  compatriots — the 
protectors  of  a  united  people  and  the  guardians  of 
a  common  country. 

As  my  mission  was  ended  and  a  new  regime  es- 
tablished I  obtained  permission  to  join  my  family 
at  Edenton,  and  left  the  capital  a  sadder  and  a 
poorer  man  than  I  had  entered  it,  but  cheered  by 
the  reflection  that  I  had  labored  faithfully  to  dis- 
charge the  duties  of  my  position,  and  had  rendered 
some  service  to  North  Carolina  and  her  people. 


I  went  to  New  Berne  by  train  and  thence  to  Eden- 
ton  by  steamer,  the  oath  of  alleo;iance  having  been 
demanded  by  the  provost  marshal  as  the  condition 
precedent  of  my  embarkation.  At  the  former 
place  I  was  overwhelmed  by  visits  from  Edenton 
negroes  who  had  taken  refuge  there  during  the  war, 
-and  who  seemed  delighted  to  see  me  again,  as  my  rela- 
tions with  them  in  ante-bellum  days  had  always 
been  most  friendly.  I  was  struck  with  the  fact 
that  a  large  majority  of  the  callers  were  females, 
and  on  asking  an  explanation  I  was  informed  that 
nearly  all  the  males  had  been  killed  at  Plymouth 
a  few  months  previously. 

It  seems  that  immediately  on  their  arrival  there 
they  were  put  to  work  on  the  fortifications,  and 
that  when  the  Confederates  invested  the  place  the 
women  were  sent  awa}^  in  transports  and  the  men 
were  forced  into  the  ranks  to  fight  for  their  liberty 
-and  their  lives.  Scattered  like  "  chaff  before  the 
wind"  by  the  charge  of  Ransom's  veterans,  scarcely 
one  was  left  to  tell  the  story  of  their  annihi- 
lation, for  quarter  was  never  given  when  that 
unfortunate  race  offered  the  gage  of  battle  to 
the  white  men  of  the  South.  ^ 

As  the  poor  creatures  had  mostly  been  reared 
as  house  servants,  and  had  no  acquaintance  with 
manual  labor  or  familiarity  with  the  use  of  arms, 
the  freedom  (?)  which  they  sought  by  the  desertion 
of  their  masters  was  thus  paid  for  most  dearly — 
by  dreary  lives  in  the  trenches  and  bloody  deaths 
upon  the  battle-field. 

I  had  been  reared  with  them  and  they  had  been 
my  patients  for  years,  and  the  sad  story  of  the 
"hard  lines"  and  the  '^hospitable  graves"  wdiich 
they  found  in  the  Utopia  of  their  dreams  wrung 
my  heart  to  its  core,  accustomed  as  it  was  to  life's 
sorrows  and  vicissitudes.     To  Madam  Roland's  dy- 

350  A  doctor's  experiexces 

ing  exclamation,  "Ah,  Liberty,  how  many  crimes 
have  been  committed  in  thy  name  !"  there  might 
be  added  with  equal  truth,  ''and  what  mistakes- 
have  been  made!"  for  there  is  something  in  the 
term  which  unsettles  men's  reason  and  transforms 
them  into  fools  or  lunatics.  These  negroes  were 
slaves  but  in  name^  for  they  carried  the  keys  and 
were  really  the  masters  of  the  situation,  and  j^et 
they  eagerly  fled  from  the  homes  in  which  they 
had  been  petted,  indulged  and  pampered,  that  they 
might  be  free. 

"  Lords  of  themselves,  that  heritage  of  woe." 

Pardon  me  for  dwelling  on  the  negro  under  the 
new  dispensation  of  liberty  and  equality.  I  had 
sent  with  my  family  to  Edenton  three  negro  men 
in  whose  fidelity  I  had  the  utmost  confidence.  The 
oldest  was  Primus,  and  although  his  skin  was 
Ethiopian  his  heart  was  as  pure  as  'Hhe  gold  of  the 
mines."  He  was  the  husband  of  my  baby's  nurse, 
and  he  loved  "the  family"  as  if  it  were  his  by 
blood  and  birth.  So  far  from  rejoicing  in  the 
freedom  which  had  been  "  proclaimed"  to  him  it 
only  pained  his  faithful  soul  to  lose  his  master,  and 
he  showed  even  more  attachment  and  attention  to 
us  than  he  had  done  before.  In  fact  he  rejected 
the  proffered  boon  of  liberty,  and  clung  to  his  con- 
dition of  servitude  with  unfaltering  tenacity.  He 
prided  himself  especially  on  being  a  "  democratic 
darkey,"  and  went  persistently  to  the  polls  intent 
upon  voting  for  "  Mass  Govnor  Yance"  for  every 
office  in  the  gift  of  the  people. 

When  questioned  in  regard  to  his  pertinacious 
support  of  the  Governor,  he  said:  "Well,  you 
see,  boss,  the  Governor  and  me,  we  sarved  together 
in  the  war,  and  he  is  a  friend  of  my  master — that's 
enough   for  old  Primus."     The  weeds    of  fifteen 


years  have  grown  and  withered  upon  his  humble 
grave  at  the  ''Chinquapin  Chapel,"  but  I  honor 
it  as  much  as  if  it  were  adorned  by  a  marble  shaft, 
for  as  good  a  man  sleeps  beneath  it  as  ever  served 
the  Lord  or  honored  a  master. 

The  second  was  Gabe,  a  cadaverous-looking  fel- 
low of  some  eighteen  years,  who  was  just  the 
laziest  and  the  most  affectionate  darkey  that  ever 
rejoiced  in  an  owner.  He  stuck  to  me  like  some 
faithful  dog,  refusing  to  work  on  his  own  account 
or  for  any  one  save  his  ''master  and  missus." 
His  constitution  was  delicate,  and  with  no  one  to 
care  for  his  health  or  to  nurse  him  when  sick — as 
we  were  separated  from  him — he  soon  fell  a  victim 
to  the  freedom  for  which  so  much  blood  was  shed, 
but  only  proved  to  him,  as  to  many  of  his  race, 
a  calamity  and  a  curse.  Poor  boy  !  He  had  a 
kind  heart  under  that  mahogany-colored  skin  of 
his,  and  as  a  slave  he  would  have  lived  a  long  and 
useful  life.  Liberty  was  the  last  thing  that  he 
needed  or  desired,  and  he  died  of  it. 

The  last  was  called  by  the  classic  name  of  Cupid, 
though  I  could  never  trace  its  origin.  He  was  a 
bright  mulatto  with  nearly  straight  hair,  light 
blue  eyes,  regular  features,  and  a  frame  possessing 
unusual  grace  and  power.  I  purchased  him  just 
before  the  war,  not  that  T  wanted  him  particularly, 
but  to  keep  him  from  being  separated  from  a 
mother  who  loved  him  dearly,  and  appealed  to  me 
in  moving  terms  to  save  her  son  from  the  hands  of 
a  "negro-trader."  I  was  much  attached  to  this 
young  man,  trusting  him  in  all  things  and  believ- 
ing him  to  be  specially  devoted  to  me  and  mine. 
The  first  thing  that  I  learned  on  my  arrival  at 
Edenton  was  of  his  desertion  of  my  family  and 
the  insolence  of  his  manner  whenever  he  met  them. 
When  I  questioned  Primus  and  Gabe  in  regard  to 

352  A  doctor's  experiences 

his  conduct  they  informed  me  that  he  bad  always 
been  ungrateful  ;  that  he  was  inherently  a  rascal, 
and  that  he  had  avowed  his  determination  to  insult 
me  so  soon  as  he  found  tbe  opportunity  by  way  of 
showing  himself  a  free  man  and  the  equal  of  any 
one.  Old  Primus  added:  '^  You  see,  masser,  you 
is  a  white  man  and  you  can't  thrash  dat  ar  darkey 
like  fore  de  war  times,  while  de  gun-boats  is  in  de 
bay  and  de  Yanks  is  a  prowlin'  aroun',  but  little 
Gabe  and  I  is  niggers  and  we  kin  do  it  for  sartin. 
So  if  you  say  the  word,  we'll  just  give  him  sich  a 
good  old-fashioned  trouncin'  as  he  never  bad  in  bis 
life."  "No,  Primus,  I  would  not  have  you  touch 
him  on  my  account,  but  just  give  him  a  warning 
from  me :  Tell  bim  gun-boat  or  no  gun-boat, 
Yanks  or  no  Yanks,  if  he  dares  to  address  one  in- 
sulting word  to  me  I  will  give  him  my  horse-whip 
if  I  am  bung  for  it  tbe  next  moment.''  Alter  tliat 
he  avoided  me,  but  I  was  provoked  immeasurably 
by  his  conduct  on  the  afternoon  of  my  departure 
from  Edenton.  I  went  upon  the  little  steamer 
which  was  to  convey  me  to  Norfolk,  and  Primus 
and  Gabe  were  busily  engaged  with  my  trunks 
when  Cupid  made  his  appearance  accompanied  hy 
some  half  dozen  of  his  friends,  all  very  drunk.  He 
and  they  commenced  by  jeering  at  Primus  and 
Gabe  for  their  attentions  to  me,  addressing  them  in 
the  most  insulting  terms  and  bantering  them  for 
a  ^'  fist  fight."  Growing  bolder  at  length  they  in- 
terposed between  the  steamer  and  my  trunks,  and 
swore  that  they  should  not  be  carried  on  board. 
Seizing  a  club,  I  sprang  ashore,  intending  to 
settle  tbe  matter  summarily,  but  my  faithful  friends 
were  in  advance  of  me,  and  in  a  moment  they  were 
wielding  two  good  hickories  which  they  had  pre- 
pared for  tbe  occasion,  and  with  so  much  efi'ect  that 
the  intruders  were  driven  back  precipitately,  wbile 


my  faithful  friends  were  left  masters  of  the  field. 
Assisted  by  some  other  sympathetic  darkeys,  they 
soon  liad  the  trunks  on  board  ;  and  with  a  liberal 
reward  to  them  and  a  friendly  shake  of  their  hon- 
est hands  I  bade  them  adieu,  and  started  out  to  re- 
trieve my  shattered  fortunes — to  recommence  the 
battle  of  life.  I  never  saw  the  traitor  again,  but 
I  heard  that  shortly  afterward  he  shipped  in  a  ves- 
sel for  New  York,  and  some  six  years  subsequently 
I  received  a  letter  from  his  mother  asking  for  some 
intelligence  respecting  him,  as  from  the  day  of  his 
departure  he  never  had  been  heard  of.  I  have  no 
doubt  that  he  ended  his  days  in  a  penitentiary. 
Since  then  I  have  had  no  opinion  of  mulattoes,  be- 
lieving that,  as  a  general  rule,  they  inherit  the 
vices  of  the  white  man  without  the  redeeming  vir~ 
tues  of  the  negro. 

I  have  referred  to  the  presence  of  the  gun-boats 
in  the  bay,  and  I  must  take  this  occasion  to  men- 
tion the  courtesy  which  their  officers  extended  to 
me.  Immediately  on  my  arrival  Captain  Sands — 
the  paymaster  of  the  fleet — accompanied  by  several 
officers  called  to  pay  their  respects,  and  from  that 
time  forward  the  most  cordial  relations  existed  be- 
tween them  and  myself.  Commodore  McComb 
overwhelmed  me  with  civilities,  and  he  and  all 
connected  with  him  manifested  their  warmest  sym- 
pathy for  us  in  connection  with  the  unnatural  will 
to  which  I  have  referred  in  another  portion  of  this 

During  the  entire  period  of  the  war  and  for 
some  months  afterward,  the  sounds  and  rivers 
of  the  eastern  section  of  Nortli  Carolina  swarmed 
with  gun-boats,  and  their  officers  were  brought  into 
daily  association  with  our  people,  and  I  am  proud 
to  record  the  fact  that  their  conduct  was  universally 
kind,  just  and  considerate.  Both  at  home  and 

354  A  doctor's  experiences 

abroad  I  have  had  an  ample  opportunity  of  form- 
ing a  proper  estimate  of  the  officers  of  the  United 
States  Navy,  and  I  have  no  hesitation  in  saying 
that  J  as  a  class,  they  are  an  ornament  to  society 
and  an  honor  to  their  country — that  they  are  es- 
sentially and  pre-eminently  gentlemen. 

I  do  not  like  to  describe  Eden  ton  as  I  found  it 
after  the  war.  It  had  2:»reviously  been  known  as  the 
"Athens  of  North  Carolina,"  renowned  for  the 
education,  culture,  and  high  tone  of  its  people,  and 
beautiful  beyond  compare  in  luxuriant  gardens, 
shaded  streets,  drooping  cyj^resses,  grassy  greens, 
and  tasteful  mansions.  Besides,  I  never  knew  a 
place  in  which  public  sentiment  possessed  so  healthy 
and  vigorous  a  tone  ;  where  virtue,  decency,  and 
respectability  were  so  highly  esteemed,  and  whose 
social  lines  were  drawn  with  such  absolute  sharp- 
ness and  unfailing  accuracy. 

Though  not  a  hostile  gun  was  fired  within  its 
limits,  the  war  completely  changed  its  character 
and  aspect.  It  mingled  and  remolded  its  social 
elements  ;  raised  up  a  multitude  of  pretentious 
oracles  in  place  of  a  unique  and  dominating  public 
sentiment ;  destroyed  the  prestige  and  the  spirit  of 
its  people,  and  transformed  the  place  into  a  mere 
specter  of  its  former  self.  Four  years  of  peril  and 
apprehension  silenced  the  voice  alike  of  religion, 
law,  taste  and  social  obligation,  and  left  it  chaotic 
and  perturbed  in  all  regards. 

As  conspicuous  as  had  been  the  part  which  I  had 
played  in  the  community,  and  as  great  as  were  the 
services  rendered  both  by  my  father  and  the  rector, 
I  found  myself  almost  forgotten  there — a  veritable 
fossil  of  some  traditional  period — with  scarcely  an 
acquaintance  to  confer  with  or  a  friend  to  depend 
upon.  I  felt,  indeed,  like  a  second  Rip  Van  Win- 
kle, with  everything  strange  around  me,  and  I  the 


strangest  of  them  all.  When  human  nature  is 
removed  from  the  restraints  of  society,  and  left  to 
the  domination  of  its  own  inherent  selfishness — to 
the  pursuit  exclusively  of  its  individual  ends  and 
interests — it  straightway  becomes  callous,  con- 
tracted and  contemptible  in  a  manner  and  to.  a 
degree  that  no  previous  calculation  can  determine, 
and  only  a  personal  experience  can  appreciate. 
This  has  been  my  experience,  and  I  record  it  as 
such  for  your  edification. 

It  is  but  jast  to  say,  however,  that  the  old  place 
has  gradually  recovered  from  its  physical  prostra- 
tion and  its  moral  debasement,  and  is  rapidly  re- 
gaining its  pristine  character  and  its  wonted  at- 

356  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  left  Baltimore  occupying  a  conspicuous  position, 
in  the  possession  of  independent  means,  the  idol  of 
an  enthusiastic  class,  the  pet  of  an  admiring  com- 
munity, and  with  everything  in  life  wearing  the 
freshness  and  glamour  of  a  May  morning.  I  re- 
turned to  find  myself  dispossessed  of  my  chair,  be- 
reftof  my  property,  forgotten  by  my  pupils,  ignored 
by  my  friends,  and  with  everything  around  and 
before  me  covered  with  the  blight  and  gloom 
of  December. 

On  many  a  morning  I  awakened  to  the  conscious- 
ness that  I  had  not  a  cent  of  money  in  my  pocket, 
nor  a  crust  of  bread  in  my  house.  Poverty,  nay, 
a,ctual  want  stared  me  in  the  face  for  many  an  anxious 
month.  Because  we  had  decent  clothes  to  wear 
few  realized  that  we  were  suffering  for  the  neces- 
saries of  life — for  food  to  eat  and  fuel  to  keep  us 
warm.  Without  means,  annoyed  by  the  demands 
■of  pretended  creditors,  importuned  for  assistance 
by  still  more  impoverished  relatives  and  comrades, 
having  no  friends  upon  whom  I  could  call  for  assist- 
ance, and  almost  maddened  by  the  pressing  neces- 
sities of  those  who  were  nearest  and  dearest  to  me, 
my  life  at  that  period  was  simply  a  prolonged 
agony — an  existence  whose  component  elements 
were  clouds,  darkness  and  despair.  I  was  saved 
from  utter  failure — from  the  poor-house  or  the  basin 


— by  the  kindness  o^  four  persons  upon  whom  Iliad 
no  claim  luhatever,  but  who  in  the  providence  of 
God  came  to  my  rescue  in  that  dire  extremity, 
Yotc  sought  me,  and  by  your  kind  sympathy,  your 
brave  and  self-sacrificing  championship,  inspired 
me  with  the  courage  to  breast  the  storm  and  to 
defy  its  power.  General  Boiverman,  a  Federal  sol- 
dier whose  house  adjoined  my  own,  by  sending  us 
food  daily  in  the  guise  of  delicacies  for  a  sick  child, 
actually  saved  us  from  starvation.  Mr.  Daniel 
Dorsey,  the  proprietor  of  Barnum's  Hotel,  also 
proved  a  friend.  Having  had  the  good  fortune  to 
attract  his  attention  by  some  happy  cures  among 
his  guests  he  gave  me  the  practice  of  his  house,, 
which  furnished  enough  of  ready  money  to  supply 
my  most  pressing  wants.  And,  finally,  my 
old  friend,  Joseph  31.  Levy^  the  gambler  of  the- 
Sweet  Chalybeate,  appeared  upon  the  scene  and 
played  the  role  of  a  faithful  and  a  most  liberal 

He  owed  me  an  account  for  professional  services 
rendered  before  the  war,  and  I  sent  an  agent  to 
hunt  him  up  and  to  ascertain  if  he  was  sufficiently 
"flush"  to  permit  him  to  settle  with  me  without 
embarrassment  to  himself.  My  agent  informed  me 
that  he  had  no  difficulty  in  finding  him,  and  that 
when  he  presented  my  bill  tears  came  rolling  into 
the  old  fellow's  eyes,  and  he  said:  "What!  has 
my  old  friend  and  physician  turned  up  at  last ! 
Thank  God  for  it !  Of  course  I  will  pay  the  bill. 
I  would  do  so  with  pleasure  were  it  ten  times  as 
much.  Take  the  money  to  him  with  my  comiDli- 
ments,  and  tell  him  that  I  shall  call  on  him  to- 

Sure  enough^  he  presented  himself  on  the  next 
day,  and  so  well  dressed  that  I  hardly  recognized 
him  as  he  rushed  into  the  room,  threw  his  arm& 

358  A  doctor's  experiences 

around  me,  and  exclaimed:  ^' Thank  God  that  I 
have  lived  to  see  you  again,  my  dear,  dear  friend!" 
I  was  greatly  touched  by  the  old  man's  kindly 
greeting,  and  I  begged  him  to  be  seated  and  to  tell 
me  what  he  had  been  doing  with  himself  during 
the  long  years  of  our  separation.  ^'  What  have  I 
been  doing?"  he  answered,  ''why,  I  have  been 
getting  rich.  While  you  have  been  throwing  your 
time  and  your  money  away  in  that  devilish  war 
the  good  Lord  has  been  taking  care  of  me — He  has 
been  putting  enough  money  in  my  pocket  to  make 
me  comfortable  for  the  rest  of  my  days.  And,  be- 
sides, I  have  been  getting  me  a  new  wife,  my  old 
one  having  died  soon  after  you  left  town  of  cancer 
of  the  stomach,  according  to  your  prediction." 

Upon  questioning  him  further,  I  ascertained  that 
his  brother.  Commodore  Levy,  had  died  two  years 
previously,  leaving  a  will  which  divided  the  whole 
of  his  fortune  between  the  United  States  and  the 
State  of  Virginia ;  that  the  will  had  been  set  aside 
by  the  courts  for  indefiniteness  ;  that  the  real 
estate  was  soon  to  be  sold  and  divided,  and  that 
the  portion  coming  to  each  of  the  heirs-at-law 
would  not  be  less  than  forty  thousand  dollars. 

"  Yes,  at  least  forty  thousand  dollars,  my  dear 
friend,  and  I  shall  be  ready  to  divide  the  last  cent 
with  you,"  he  added  with  an  earnestness  which 
made  my  heart  leap. 

''  With  me!"  I  said.  "  Divide  with  me  !  What 
in  God's  name  have  I  done  to  merit  such  gener- 

''  You  treated  me  like  a  gentleman  when  every 
one  else  turned  his  back  on  me.  You  saved  my 
life  when  I  was  at  the  jumping-off  place,  and  as 
long  as  I  have  a  cent  it  belongs  to  you  as  much  as 
it  does  to  me,"  he  answered. 

"  But  what  will  your  new  wife  say,  my  friend?" 


''  Oh,  she  married  me  when  I  was  a  poor  man, 
and  she  will  be  satisfied  with  what  I  give  her  ;  be- 
sides, I  shall  have  enough  for  both  of  you,"  was 
his  reply.  "  By  the  way,"  he  went  on  to  say,  "  I 
am  not  overflush  at  present,  but  I  have  brought 
fifty  dollars  for  you,  supposing  that  you  were  hard 
up.  In  three  weeks  I  shall  have  my  property  and  the 
next  day  I  shall  send  you  a  thousand  dollars  to  help 
to  keep  the  pot  a-biling  until  you  can  get  into  busi- 
ness. The  fact  is,  I  am  going  to  help  you,  and  I 
don't  care  a  cuss  what  you  or  anybody  else  may 
say  on  the  subject.  Where  is  your  good  wife?  I 
want  to  see  her,  too." 

''  Mr.  Levy,"  I  said,  blubbering  like  a  baby,  "I 
don't  know  how  to  thank  you.  You  can  never 
comprehend  what^a  service  you  have  rendered  me 
— even  by  a  loan  of  fifty  dollars — what  a  load  you 
have  taken  from  my  heart  by  your  great  kindness, 
your  unlooked-for  and  most  princely  generosity. 
You  will  find  me  a  friend,  and  a  most  grateful  and 
devoted  one,  to  the  last  day  of  my  life.  Let  me 
€all  my  wife  ;  she  will  be  as  grateful  as  I  am." 

My  wife  came  into  the  room  and  greeted  the  old 
man  in  that  sweet,  kindly  way  which  belonged  to 
her ;  and  I  shall  never  forget  the  smile  which 
illumined  her  face,  as  with  great  drops  standing  in 
her  eyes,  she  glanced  for  a  moment  toward  Heaven 
in  mute  but  eloquent  gratitude  for  the  succor  which 
had  so  unexpectedly  come  to  us  in  our  hour  of  su- 
premest  adversity  and  trial.  "Bless  you!  God 
bless  you,  Mr.  Levy  !"  she  exclaimed,  as  she  ex- 
tended her  hands  to  the  old  man  in  token  of  her  ap- 
preciation and  thankfulness. 

Alas  for  human  calculations !  In  a  day  or  two 
after  this  interview  he  was  seized  with  a  malady 
which  defi.ed  my  skill,  and  died  within  a  week — 
before  he  had  come  into  his  inheritance.     He  did 

360  A  doctor's  experiences 

not  forget  me,  however.  On  the  day  preceding 
liis  death  he  made  a  will,  in  w^hich,  after  bequeath- 
ing two-thirds  of  his  property  to  his  wile,  and 
leaving  several  legacies  to  charitable  institutions, 
he  divided  the  remainder  equally  between  another 
old  friend  and  myself.  He  supposed  that  he  had 
given  me  at  least  five  thousand  dollars,  and  he 
died  consoled  and  tranquilized  by  the  reflection 
that  he  had  saved  me  from  want  and  had  started 
me  in  life.  This  gift  would  have  been,  indeed,  a 
god-send,  could  I  have  obtained  possession  of  it  at 
that  moment,  but  it  was  otherwise  ordained.  Mr. 
Levy's  heirs-at-law,  a  brother  and  sister,  w^ho  had 
profited  equally  with  him  by  the  indefiniteness  of 
the  Commodore's  bequest  and  who  had  not  been 
on  speaking  terms  with  him  for  ten  years,  were  in- 
duced to  contest  this  will;  and  it  was  only  after 
several  years  of  annoyance  and  delay  that  the  case 
was  decided.  Of  course,  the  will  was  established 
as  soon  as  it  could  be  discussed  upon  its  merits,  and 
I  received  my  long-expected  legacy,  but  greatly 
reduced^  as  at  least  one-half  of  the  estate  was  con- 
sumed in  court  expenses  and  lawyers'  fees.  Noth- 
ing could  have  been  more  unjust  than  this  contest, 
as  its  instigator  well  knew  in  the  premises  and  as 
was  made  apparent  in  the  trial  of  the  case. 

The  grounds  upon  which  this  iniquitous  pro- 
ceeding was  based  were  allegations  to  the  effect 
that  the  parties  were  not  legally  married  ;  that 
undue  influence  had  been  brought  to  bear  upon 
the  mind  of  the  testator,  and  that  he  was  non  com- 
pos  merdis  when  the  instrument  was  executed. 
After  several  years  of  delay  and  sundry  offers  of 
compromise  the  case  was  finally  called  for  trial, 
when  the  wife  produced  in  court  not  only  her  mar- 
riage certificate  but  the  clergyman  who  performed 
the    ceremony  and  a  number  of  persons^who  at- 


tended  the  wedding;  while  the  other  grounds  of 
contest  were  so  effectually  disposed  of  b}^  the  testi- 
mony of  many  disinterested  witnesses  that  the  law- 
yers for  the  defense  found  it  unnecessary  to  make 
an  argument  and  the  jury  requested  permission  to 
return  an  affirmative  verdict  without  leaving  the 

And  yet  it  was  possible  for  a  greedy  attorney 
and  two  unprincipled  heirs  to  institute  proceedings 
and  to  prolong  them  for  three  years  in  the  hope  of 
obtaining  money  through  the  instrumentality  of  a 
compromise  or  by  the  breaking  of  a  will  which 
gave  the  bulk  of  a  man's  property  to  the  wife  of 
his  bosom  and  was  executed  according  to  the  strict- 
est requirements  of  the  law.  Surely  our  statutes 
in  regard  to  the  matter  of  wills  require  some  radi- 
cal change,  having  for  its  object  the  restraint  of 
hungry  attorneys  and  the  protection  of  defenseless 

Messrs.  Wallis  and  Dallam,  the  attorneys  for 
the  will,  and  splendid  gentlemen  as  well,  congrat- 
ulated me  on  the  manner  in  which  my  testimony 
was  given,  and  Mr.  Steele,  who  entered  the  cause 
at  a  late  hour  and  in  good  faith,  sought  my  ser- 
vices in  another  case  of  importance,  saying,  in  that 
connection:  "I  have  sought  you  because  of  the 
manner  in  which  you  gave  your  testimony  in  the 
Levy  case.  The  story  which  you  then  told  of  your 
relations  with  that  old  man  was  one  of  the  most 
interesting  I  ever  heard,  and  you  are  the  only  wit- 
ness that  I  have  ever  failed  to  shake  in  a  cross-ex- 
amination." "Ah!"  said  I,  '"truth  is  stranger 
than  fiction,'  and  you  had  to  do  with  a  witness 
who  had  the  facts  upon  his  side,  and  who  was 
pleading  for  the  rights  and  interests  of  a  suffering 
family.  Besides,  having  had  experience  as  a  lec- 
turer, I  am  accustomed  to  think  upon  my  feet,  and 

362  A  doctor's  experiences 

am  not  abashed  by  having  to  ^speak  in  public  on 
the  stage.'  "  The  best  part  of  the  whole  matter, 
excepting  the  handling  of  the  money,  was  that  the 
judge  who  tried  the  case — the  Hon.  Gr.  W.  Dob- 
bin— became  from  that  time  one  of  my  warmest 

The  clouds  gradually  cleared  away  and  the  sun 
began  again  to  shine  for  me ;  and  the  first  use 
which  I  made  of  my  prosperity  was  to  organize 
another  medical  school  in  Baltimore.  Through 
the  influence  of  Dr.  Thomas  W.  Bond  I  secured 
the  charter  of  a  defunct  school,  improvised  a  fac- 
ulty, organized  a  dispensary,  and  established  the 
Washington  University,  in  opposition  to  the  Uni- 
versity of  Maryland.  The  greatest  good  fortune 
attended  the  effort.  By  establishing  a  "benefic- 
iary system"  with  reference  to  the  disabled  soldiers 
of  the  South,  large  classes  were  immediately  at- 
tracted. By  persistent  appeals  to  the  legislature 
of  Maryland  a  liberal  appropriation  was  promptly 
secured.  By  proper  representations  to  the  city 
council  it  was  induced  to  sell  us  a  building  admir- 
ably suited  to  our  purposes  at  a  mere  nominal 
price.  By  good  management  the  collector  of  the 
port  was  persuaded  to  give  us  the  contract  for  at- 
tending the  sailors,  thus  supplying  us  with  abund- 
ant material  for  our  clinics.  And  by  sound  judg- 
ment and  good  diplomacy  the  school  was  made  a 
success  in  all  regards.  In  vain  was  it  railed  at  as 
"Warren's  school,"  a  scheme  for  "personal  re- 
venge," and  an  "eleemosynary  institution."  It 
stood  and  grew  and  flourished  with  each  succeed- 
ing year,  and  took  a  high  position  alike  in  Balti- 
more and  throughout  the  Union.  In  this  enter- 
prise I  was  ably  seconded  by  Drs.  Byrd,  Scott, 
Ford,  Logan,  Chancellor,  Moorman,  Claggett  and 


Powell,    natives   of  the   South  and  gentlemen  of 
character  and  talent. 

Unfortunately,  differences  arose  in  the  faculty 
in  regard  to  matters  of  management,  etc.,  which 
resulted  in  nay  retirement  and  in  the  final  disrup- 
tion of  the  school.  Nothing  daunted,  and  still 
believing  the  field  an  inviting  one,  I  united  with 
Drs.  Opie,  Byrd,  Howard,  Lynch,  Goolrick*  and 
Murray — all  excellent  men — in  the  organization  of 
another  school,  which  we  called  '^The  College  of 
Physicians  and  Surgeons  of  Baltimore,"  and  which 
proved  likewise  a  splendid  success,  and  is  to-day 
one  of  the  leading  institutions  of  the  country.  In 
both  of  these  schools  I  occupied  the  chair  of  sur- 
gery, and  with  what  success  you  are  better  able  to 
judge  than  myself.  I  will  only  say  that  my  thorough 
training  in  anatomy  by  Dr.  Davis,  of  the  Univer- 
sity of  Virginia,  and  my  extensive  surgical  experi- 
ience  during  the  war^  greatly  lightened  my  labors, 
a,nd  enabled  me  to  secure  the  confidence  and  good- 
will of  my  classes  to  an  extent  that  was  exceedingly 
gratifying  to  my  amour  propre  and  very  unpalata- 
ble to  my  rivals  generally. 

Professor  Nathan  R.  Smith,  the  surgeon  of  the 
University  of  Maryland — and  a  very  great  surgeon 
he  was — could  brook  no  rivalry,  and  made  it  a  point 
to  give  me  a  shot  whenever  the  occasion  offered. 
Of  course,  I  returned  the  fire  to  tlie  best  of  my 
ability.  On  one  occasion  in  a  public  lecture  he 
sneered  at  my  clinic  as  "a  comedy — a  comedy  of 
errors. "  On  the  day  succeeding,  when  a  number  of 
his  students  were  present,  I  referred  to  the  remark 
and  said  :  ^'  Since  histrionic  comparisons  have  been 

*To  Dr.  Goolrick,  who  is  now  a  successful  practitioner  in  the 
city  of  Washington,  I  desire  to  return  mj^  sincere  thanks  for 
some  recent  favors,  in  connection  with  which  he  showed 
himself  a  faithful  friend  and  an  able  coadjutor. 

364  A  doctor's  experiences 

invited,  the  clinics  of  the  vieillard  of  the  University 
remind  me  of  tragedies — they  always  culminate  in 
a  death,"  referring  to  the  ill  success  wliich  had 
attended  some  of  his  operations.  This  remark 
brought  down  the  house  tremendously  and  ban- 
ished the  visitors  for  the  remainder  of  the  session. 
I  struck  a  blow  for  which  I  was  never  forgiven. 

In  the  whole  of  this  controversy  I  was  prompted 
by  no  feelings  of  personal  malignity — though  God 
knows  I  had  sufficient  justification  for  it — but  by  a 
spirit  of  rivalry  such  as  the  occasion  warranted  and 
was  legitimate  in  itself.  Can  you  say  as  much  for 
my  opponents  ?  I  fear  not,  my  friend,  as  you  came 
near  losing  the  friendship  of  one  of  the  most  promi- 
nent of  them  by  your  manly  championship  of  me. 
Of  one  thing  I  am  convinced  as  my  mind  reverts 
to  that  time  and  its  incidents  :  every  moment  which 
was  thus  given  to  medical  instruction  and  to  col- 
leoje  mana2:ement  was  absolutelv  wasted  so  far  as 
my  most  essential  interests  were  concerned.  I 
should  have  been  happier  then  and  richer  now  if  I 
had  devoted  myself  exclusively  to  the  study  and 
practice  of  medicine.  It  is  difficult  to  serve  twa 
masters,  and  the  physician  who  devotes  himself 
either  to  talking  politics  or  to  teaching  medicine  is 
to  that  extent  faithless  to  his  proper  calling — the 
healing  of  the  sick  and  the  accumulation  of  means 
for  his  family.  The  advice  which  I  would  give  to 
a  young  physician  stai^ting  out  in  his  career  is  to 
avoid  both  the  political  arena  and  the  lecture  room 
if  he  desires  substantial  professional  prosperity. 
These  side  issues  in  medicine  may  pay  in  ephem- 
eral glory,  but  not  in  substantial  success  and  ^'ple- 
thoric bank  accounts.' '  And  yet  there  is  something 
in  the  title  and  the  prerogatives  of  a  professor 
which  is  wonderfully  fascinating,  as  I  know  from 
experience    and   observation.       When    a  man  has 


made  his  mark  and  accumulated  a  competency,  a 
college  chair  is  a  very  coDifortable  place  for  him  to 
end  his  days  in,  but  until  then  it  is  best  to  avoid 
it,  as  you  have  had  the  good  sense  to  do. 

By  way  of  episode  I  give  the  incident  related 
below,  believing  that  though  rather  out  of  place  it 
may  not  prove  uninteresting. 

During  the  retreat  of  General  Johnston's  army 
through  Raleigh,  I  was  requested  to  visit  a  Con- 
federate officer  who  lay  wounded  at  the  house  of 
Major  Devereux,  a    short  distance  from  the  city. 

I  found  him  a  remarkably  handsome  young 
fellow,  from  South  Carolina,  and  the  brother  of  a 
distinguished  cavalry  general  who  has  since  played 
a  conspicuous  part  in  the  politics  of  that  State. 

He  had  been  wounded  a  few  days  previously  by 
a  conical  ball,  which  passed  through  the  upper  arm 
immediately  above  the  elbow  joint,  and  he  was  re- 
duced to  the  last  degree  of  prostration  by  repeated 
hemorrhages  of  the  most  profuse  and  uncontrollable 

Of  delicate  organization,  enfeebled  by  forced 
marches  and  insufficient  food,  and  almost  exsan- 
guinated. I  found  him  with  a  rapid  and  scarcely 
perceptible  pulse,  bathed  in  a  clammy  perspiration, 
and  almost  in  a  state  of  positive  collapse. 

It  seemed  indeed  as  if  death  had  already  claimed 
him  for  its  own,  and  that  he  had  but  a  few  hours  to 
live,  though  his  intellect  was  unclouded,  and  there 
was  a  glint  in  his  clear  blue  eye  which  told  of  a 
hopeful  nature  and  an  indomitable  spirit. 

The  surgeofi  in  attendance,  having  in  vain  at- 
tempted to  prevent  the  recurrence  of  the  hemor- 
rhage, and  realizing  that  he  could  not  spare  the 
loss  of  an  additional  amountof  blood,  had  determined 
to  ligate  the  artery  above  the  wound,  and    I  was 

866  A  doctor's  experiences 

called  in  to  determine  tlie  propriety  of  the  operation 
and  to  assist  in  its  performance  if  necessary. 

''  His  condition  is  desperate,"  I  remarked,  when 
we  had  retired  for  consultation. 

^'That  is  undoubtedly  true,"  responded  my 
colleague,  ''and  prompt  interference  is  necessary 
to  give  him  a  chance  for  life.  The  artery  is  severed 
and  must  be  tied  or  he  wdll  certainly  bleed  to 
death . ' ' 

"  Have  you  made  a  thorough  examination  of  the 
wound?  Are  you  sure  that  the  bone  has  escaped  in- 
jury ?  Are  you  convinced  that  an  amputation  is 
unnecessary  ?"   I  inquired. 

"  No,  Doctor,  I  have  not  made  a  thorough  ex- 
ploration of  the  injury.  He  has  positively  refused 
to  permit  me  to  make  an  examination.  The  profuse 
and  repeated  bleeding  shows  what  we  have  to  deal 
with,  and  establishes  the  indication  for  treatment," 
he  answered. 

"  But^  suppose  that  together  with  the  severance 
of  the  artery  there  is  a  compound  and  comminuted 
fracture  of  the  humerus,  involving  the  articulation, 
would  it  not  be  better  to  ascertain  it,  and  to  am- 
putate  the  limb  rather  than  tie  the  vessel?  My 
impression  is  that  if  Captain  B.  survives,  he  will 
go  through  life  wdth  an  empty  sleeve — that  sooner 
or  later  he  must  lose  his  arm.  The  proper  course 
is  to  get  ready  either  to  ligateor  to  amputate,  then 
to  put  him  under  the  influence  of  chloroform,  and 
after  having  determined  the  precise  nature  and  ex- 
tent of  the  injury,  to  perform  the  operation  which 
the  circumstances  of  the  case  demand.  I  think  we 
shall  end  by  amputating  the  arm.  Doctor,"  was  my 
rejoinder.  My  suggestion  was  adopted,  with  the 
result  of  discovering — as  I  had  predicted — a  com- 
pound comminuted  fracture  of  the  humerus,  involv- 
ing the  articulation,  and  surrounding  it  a  pultaceous 


mass  of  devitalized  tissues,  in  which  the  ends  of  the 
severed  artery  were  unrecognizahle.  Amputation 
at  a  point  of  election  was  immediately  performed^ 
and  though  every  possible  measure  of  precaution 
and  means  for  bringing  about  reaction  were  em- 
ployed, the  patient  reacted  so  slowly — so  profound 
a  condition  of  collapse  ensued — that  for  a  long  time 
I  thought  he  would  inevitably  succumb.  He  did 
rally,  however,  in  the  end,  but  I  left  him  scarce 
daring  to  hope  that  there  was  a  chance  for  his  re- 
covery, believing  in  fact  that  death  was  almost  in- 
evitable under  the  circumstances. 

The  two  succeeding  days  were  spent,  as  I  have 
previously  related,  in  the  society  of  Sherman  and 
Kilpatrick,  but  I  sent  a  messenger  so  soon  as  cir- 
cumstances would  admit  to  inquire  concerning  his 
condition,  and  you  can  judge  of  my  astonishment 
when  I  learned  that  at  the  approach  of  the  enemy 
he  insisted  upon  being  placed  in  an  ambulance  and 
driven  off  with  the  retreating  army — -declaring 
that  he  meant  to  die  as  he  had  lived,  a  ''  freeman," 
and  to  be  buried  by  his  friends  "  in  the  old  grave- 
yard at  Edgefield." 

Some  months  subsequent  to  the  surrender  I  was 
seated  in  my  office  at  Baltimore,  when  a  tall^  hand- 
some blue-eyed  young  man,  with  an  empty  sleeve 
dangling  at  his  side,  entered,  and  with  the  ex- 
clamation :  ''I  am  delighted  to  see  you  once  more, 
Dr.  Warren,"  threw  his  remaining  arm  around  my 
neck,  and  embraced  me  in  the  most  demonstrative 

''But,  my  dear  sir/'  I  exclaimed,  "You  have 
the  advantage  of  me.     I  do  not  recognize  you." 

"  Don't  know  me?  lam  Captain  B ,  whose 

life  you  saved  at  Major  Devereux's  house,  just 
before  Johnston's  retreat." 

368  A  doctor's  experiexces 

My  allusion  recently  made  to  law  courts  reminds 
me  to  claim  some  professional  triumphs  in  connec- 
tion with  them,  which  I  have  always  contemplated 
with  pride  and  satisfaction.  In  one  case  a  poor 
fellow  had  been  arraigned  for  the  murder  of  his 
wife,  to  whom  I  knew  him  to  be  greatly  attached, 
it  being  alleged  that  he  had  given  her  a  blow  in 
his  rage  at  her  desertion  of  him,  which  developed 
puerperal  fever  after  her  confinement.  Without 
friends  or  the  means  with  which  to  employ  counsel, 
he  appealed  to  me  for  sympathy  and  assistance,  and 
I  devoted  myself  to  an  investigation  of  the  case 
with  the  result  of  rendering  the  giving  of  the  blow 
problematical,  and  of  proving  that  the  sage  femme 
had  communicated  the  disease  to  the  wife.  He  was 
therefore  promptly  acquitted,  and  some  time  after- 
ward, when  the  wife  of  the  judge  who  presided  at 
the  trial  was  attacked  with  puerperal  fever,  he 
had  me  called  as  a  consulting  physician.  It  thus 
happened  that  my  intervention  resulted  in  the  res- 
cue of  the  accused  from  an  ignominious  death  upon 
the  gallows,  and  in  securing  for  myself  the  confi- 
dence and  friendship  of  Judge  G-ilmore,  who  then 
presided  over  the  Criminal  Court  of  Baltimore. 
In  another  instance  a  negro  woman  had  been  con- 
victed of  the  crime  of  infanticide,  and  the  day  for 
her  execution  had  been  appointed.  At  the  request 
of  Mr.  W.  H.  Perkins — than  whom  there  are  few 
more  genuine  humanitarians — I  determined  to  in- 
vestigate the  evidence  produced  against  her,  with 
a  view  of  securing  the  clemency  of  the  governor. 
Having  before  me  a  memorandum  of  the  "  proof  of 
guilt,"  the  accuracy  of  which  was  indorsed  by  the 
State's  attorney,  I  devoted  myself  to  a  study  of  the 
case  for  an  entire  week,  and  then  wrote  out  with 
great  care  an  argument  in  support  of  the  proposi- 
tion that  the  child  had  never  breathed,  and  that  it 


had  not  been  subjected  to  violence.  This  paper 
was  duly  submitted  to  the  Executive  of  the  State, 
and  upon  the  strength  of  it  he  promptly  intervened 
and  saved  the  poor  creature's  life.  He  subsequently 
stated  that  my  argument  was  unanswerable  ;  and 
few  things  in  life  have  given  me  more  satisfaction 
than  the  reflection  that  I  was  directly  instrumental 
in  saving  the  life  of  an  innocent  woman,  and  espe- 
cially of  one  who  was  poor,  friendless  and  for- 

3Y0  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor: 

The  other  instance  in  which  I  can  claim  to  have 
saved  a  human  being  from  the  gallows  was  the 
famous  case  of  Mrs.  Wharton,  who  was  tried  at 
Annapolis  in  the  winter  of  '71-' 72  for  the  alleged 
poisoning  of  General  Ketchum.  Some  time  in  the 
summer  of  1871  I  was  sent  for  by  Mr.  Thomas, 
the  well-known  advocate  of  Baltimore,  between 
whom  and  myself  the  following  conversation  oc- 
curred : 

Mr.  Thomas:  "Dr.  Warren,  I  have  taken  the 
liberty  of  sending  for  you  to  ask  you  a  few  ques- 
tions, and  then  to  make  a  request  of  you.  Let  me 
begin  by  asking  what  you  think  of  Mrs.  Wharton  ?" 

Dr.  Warren:  '' I  know  nothing  about  her  save 
what  the  papers  state,  viz:  that  she  has  killed 
General  Ketchum,  and  has  been  arrested  for  it.  I 
take  it  for  granted  that  she  is  guilty." 

Mr.  Thomas:  "  Is  your  opinion  of  her  guilt  so 
firmly  fixed  in  your  mind  as  to  preclude  you  from 
making  a  candid  investigation  of  the  medical  facts 
of  the  case  ?" 

Dr.  Warren :  '^I  certainly  have  no  prejudice 
against  the  woman." 

Mr.  Thomas  :  '^lamgladto  hear  you  say  so, 
Doctor.  I  have  confidence  in  your  judgment,  and 
in  your  courage  to  maintain  your  opinions.  I  want 
you  then  to  do  me  the  favor  to  examine  the  facts  of 


this  case — to  investigate  them  candidly,  and  in  the 
interest  of  truth  and  justice  alone — and  then  to  in- 
form me  of  your  conclusions.  Will  you  do  this 
for  me,  Dr.  Warren?" 

Dr.  Warren:  '' My  decision,  Mr.  Thomas,  will 
depend  upon  your  response  to  one  preliminary 
question.  Do  you  as  a  man — as  a  gentleman — he- 
lieve  her  innocent?  Of  course  as  her  lawyer  you 
€an  exercise  your  own  discretion  whether  to  answer 
it  or  not."  • 

Mr.  Tliomas:  ^'I  have  not  the  slightest  hesita- 
tion in  answering  the  question.  I  believe  her  to 
be  absolutely  innocent." 

Dr.  Warren:  "  That  settles  the  matter.  I  will 
make  the  most  searching  examination  provided 
that  you  procure  for  me  a  written  statement  from 
the  physicians  who  attended  G-eneral  Ketchum  of 
exactly  what  they  observed  in  the  way  of  ante- 
-mortem symptoms  and  post-ynortem  lesions.  You 
must  also  give  me  ample  time  to  make  this  exam- 
ination, and  speak  to  no  other  physician  on  the 
subject  until  I  have  made  my  report.  At  the  same 
time  I  shall  claim  the  privilege  of  conferring  with 
my  friend,  Dr.  John  Morris,  for  I  am  in  the  habit 
of  talking  freely  to  him  on  all  subjects." 

He  consented  to  my  conditions,  and  in  a  few 
days  he  brought  to  me  written  statements  from  the 
attending  physicians  as  to  what  they  had  observed 
at  the  bed-side  and  upon  the  dissecting  table.  For 
several  weeks  I  devoted  myself  to  an  examination 
of  the  facts  thus  presented,  seeking  with  an  un- 
biased mind  and  an  impartial  judgment  to  elimi- 
nate "  the  truth  and  nothing  but  the  truth"  from 
them.  I  then  sought  Mr.  Thomas,  and  unfolded 
the  process  of  reasoning  by  which  I  had  arrived  at 
the  conclusion,  that  both  symptoms  and  lesions 
2orecluded  the  loossihility  of  a  death  from  antimonial 

372  A  doctor's  experiences 

poisoning,  and  that  it  more  probably  resulted  from 
a  disease  known  as  cerebro  spinal  meningitis,  which 
had  prevailed  in  an  epidemic  form  in  Baltimore 
contemporaneously  with  General  Ketchum's  fatal 

Before  reading  these  notes  I  requested  him  to 
endeavor  to  find  some  defect  in  my  argument,  as 
I  had  been  unable  to  detect  one.  He  heard  me 
through  with  all  the  powers  of  his  well-trained 
mind  directed  to  the  discovery  of  a  flaw  in  the 
chain  of  reasoning  with  which  I  sought  to  bind 
together  my  premises  and  my  conclusion,  and  when 
I  had  finished  the  task,  he  arose  from  his  chair  and 
shook  me  warmly  by  the  hand,  with  the  exclama- 
tion :  "Complete,  perfect,  unanswerable.  Our 
case  is  won — an  innocent  woman  is  saved  from  the 

^'  I  am  glad  you  like  it,"  I  answered.  "To  my 
mind  it  is  unansAverable,  and  I  am  delighted  to 
find  that  it  appears  so  to  you." 

"  It  is  a  demonstration  and  will  stand  any  test. 
I  must  send  for  Mr.  Steele  at  once,  and  then  ask 
you  to  go  over  the  ground  with  him,  for  I  want 
his  mind  enlightened  and  satisfied  as  mine  has 

Mr.  Steele  entered  the  room  wearing  an  anxious 
expression  of  countenance,  which  even  the  favor- 
able assurances  of  his  confrere  did  not  dissipate,  re- 
marking: "  You  will  have  a  tremendous  array  of 
talent  against  you,  Dr.  Warren.  The  current  of 
public  opinion  sets  so  strongly  against  Mrs.  Whar- 
ton that  I  can't  induce  the  medical  friends' upon 
whom  I  relied  for  help  to  have  anything  to  do  with 
the  case.    But  let  me  hear  what  you  have  prepared." 

"  I  have  taken  all  that  you  say  into  considera- 
tion already,"  I  replied,  "  and  T  beg  you,  as  I  have 
already  begged  Mr.  Thomas,  to  point- ont  any  weak 

IN   THREE    CONTINENTS.  *  373 

point — any  defective  link — in  my  chain  of  reason- 


Read  on,  then,  and  we  shall  see,"  he  answered 
rather  gruffly,  evidently  mistaking  my  great  solici- 
tude for  rampant  egotism. 

He  placed  his  hands  behind  him  and  paced  the 
room  as  I  read,  testing  my  ever}^  word  and  idea  in 
the  crucible  of  his  analytic  mind,  and  when  I  had 
concluded  he  turned  suddenly  and  said:  "There 
is  no  weak  point  in  it  ;  from  beginning  to  end  it  is 
^s  strong  as  iron  ;  we  shall  save  her,  brother 
Thomas,  never  mind  who  the  doctor  may  have  ar- 
rayed against  him,  and  whether  those  I  counted  on 
€ome  up  to  the  mark  or  not.  Now,  Doctor,  let 
me  advise  you  to  keep  your  argument  to  yourself 
so  that  the  other  side  will  not  attempt  to  refute  it 
in  advance." 

''  As  for  that,  Mr.  Steele,  I  am  perfectly  willing 
to  submit  it  to  the  hazard  of  any  answer  that  can 
be  prepared  against  it,  for  truth  is  mighty  and  will 
prevail  against  the  world,  the  flesh  and  the  devil. 
Nevertheless,  I  shall  take  your  advice,  so  as  to  make 
assurance  doubly  sure.  Let  me  give  some  advice 
in  turn  :  be  sure  to  employ  the  best  chemical  ex- 
perts that  can  be  found,  for  the  attempt  may  be 
made  to  produce  the  metal  and  thereby  to  give  a 
practical  answer  to  everything  that  may  be  said  in 
regard  to  symptoms  and  lesions.  I  am  confident 
that  there  never  was  a  particle  of  antimony  in 
General  Ketchum's  body,  but  you  must  have 
scientific  witnesses  on  hand  to  expose  any  trick 
that. may  be  attempted  in  that  connection,"  said  I, 
as  I  folded  up  my  manuscript  and  bade  them 
"  good  morning,"  duly  satisfied  with  the  estimate 
they  had  placed  upon  my  work. 

As  you  were  present  at  that  exciting  trial  it  is 
unnecessary  to  enter  into  details  respecting  it,  and 

374  A  doctor's  experiences 

I  will,  therefore  simply  confine  myself  to  my  per- 
sonal experiences  at  Annapolis.  In  due  course  I 
was  placed  upon  the  witness  stand,  and  in  a  lecture 
of  several  hours'  duration  I  unfolded  the  argument 
which  had  already  given  so  much  satisfaction  ta 
the  attorneys  for  the  defense. 

I  am  sure  you  will  bear  me  out  in  saying  that  its 
effect  upon  the  jury  was  such  as  to  render  the  ac- 
quittal of  the  prisoner  almost  a  matter  of  certainty. 

I  had  hardly  regained  my  hotel,  however,  before 
the  lawyers  for  the  defense  came  to  me,  and,  with  the 
gravest  of  countenances,  said  :  "  We  have  come,  Dr. 
Warren,  in  the  first  x>^o.ce  to  congratulate  you  on 
your  evidence,  which  was  the  clearest  and  most  logi- 
cal that  could  have  been  given,  and  to  our  minds  is 
absolutely  unanswerable,  but  we  have  to  tell  you, 
in  the  second  place,  that  the  other  side  profess  ta 
be  as  well  satisfied  as  we  are,  declaring  that,  as 
subtle  and  plausible  as  your  theories  appear,  they 
will  shatter  their  foundation  to-morrow — that  you 
have  unconsciously  walked  into  '  a  trap,'  with 
which  you  are  to  be  caught  and  hung  up  to  ridi- 
cule and  ruin  in  the  cross-examination.  Are  you 
absolutely  sure  of  your  positions?  Have  you  an 
idea  of  what  they  mean  by  these  confident  threats 
— these  bold  assurances  ?" 

"My  dear  sirs,"  1  answered,  "it  is  talk,  the 
merest  bravado.  I  am  confident  of  my  positions. 
I  have  weighed,  measured  and  analyzed  every 
stone  alike  of  their  foundation  and  their  super- 
structure, and  they  will  stand  any  test.  I  assure 
you.  I  know  every  man  with  whom  we  have  to 
deal  and  I  am  not  in  the  least  afraid  of  their  criti- 

"  Well,"  said  they,  "we  are  perfectly  satisfied 
with  the  work  of  to-day,  and  w^e  hope  and  believe 
that   you  will    sustain  yourself  to-morrow  ;"    and 


they  tlien  retired  rather  more  cheerful  in  spirit,  but 
still  very  anxious  as  to  the  result  of  the  cross-ques- 

First  one  friend  and  then  another  called  after- 
ward, each  jubilant  over  what  had  already  oc- 
curred, and  yet  apprehensive  in  regard  to  what 
was  to  follow  ;  but  I  maintained  to  them  all  the 
same  confident  and  self-assured  manner. 

I  made  it  a  point  to  attend  a  ball  at  the  hotel  that 
night,  wearing  a  smiling  countenance,  but  still  an- 
noyed because  of  'Hhe  trap  "  which  confronted  me- 
in  the  glances  and  greetings  of  every  one.  After 
retiring  to  my  chamber,  I  remained  until  nearly 
daybreak  poring  over  my  books  in  search  of  the- 
snare  which  had  thus  been  set  for  my  feet,  but  it  was- 
not  until  after  I  had  slept  an  hour  or  two — uneasily 
and  without  a  sense  of  repose — that  I  suddenly 
awoke  to  a  realization  of  the  precise  point  at  which 
I  had  seemingly  made  &>  faux  pas ^  and  was  to  be  so 
mercilessly  impaled  by  my  delighted  adversarieSo. 
Dressing  hurriedly,  I  hastened  to  the  court-house^ 
and  deposited  under  the  desk  which  had  been  as- 
signed to  Mr.  Steele  the  materials  with  which  I 
proposed  to  baffle  my  over-confident  adversaries 
and  to  transform  "the  trap"  which  had  been  pre- 
pared for  me  into  a  "dead-fall "  for  them,  as  I  felt 
assured  of  my  ability  to  do. 

When  I  resumed  my  place  in  the  witness-stand 
I  found  the  room  filled  with  an  audience  which 
had  especially  assembled  to  witness  and  enjoy  my 
immolation.  I  perceived,  also,  that  the  opposing 
doctors  were  present  in  full  force,  occupying  con- 
tiguous seats,  their  countenances  wreathed  with 
smiles  of  anticipated  triumph,  and  their  note- 
books spread  ostentatiously  before  them,  ready  to 
receive  the  record  of  my  humiliation  and  disgrace. 
The  attorney-general  was  in  the  finest  of  spirits^ 

376  A  doctor's  experiexces 

liis  gray  eyes  twinkling  with  fun,  his  rotund  fig- 
ure expanding  with  jollity,  and  his  every  expres- 
sion taking  the  form  of  a  quirk  or  a  pleasantry. 
The  excited  crowd  seemed  in  humor  for  the  sport, 
and  rewarded  his  points  and  bon  mots  with  nods  of 
approval  or  roars  of  laughter.  Indeed,  it  seemed 
a  veritable  "field  day"  tor  my  enemies,  and  that, 
like  the  gladiator  of  other  days,  I  was  doomed  to 
be — 

Butchered  to  make  a  Roman  holiday. 

Mr.  Syester  soon  finished  with  his  playful  pre- 
lude, and  settled  down  to  the  serious  work  of  the 
occasion — the  springing  of  "  the  trap  "  which  had 
been  prepared  for  my  destruction. 

It  was  somewhat  in  this  wise  that  the  plan  was 
developed  and  carried  to  its  conclusion  : 

Lawyer :  "■  Did  I  understand  you  on  yesterday 
to  say  that  Dr.  Stille,  of  Philadelphia,  is  a  recog- 
nized authority?" 

D octor  :   ' '  Certainly . ' ' 

Lawyer  :  "Is  he  not  recognized  especially  as  an 
authority  in  regard  to  cerebro  spinal  meningitis?" 

Doctor:  "  He  has  written  an  able  work  on  that 
subject  and  is  recognized  as  an  authority  by  the 

Lawyer:  "After  such  an  admission  what  would  you 
say  if  I  should  show  you  that  he  differs  materially 
from  you  on  an  important  point  relating  to  that 

Doctor:  "I  should  be  greatly  surprised,  and  I 
should  be  disposed  to  consider  myself  mistaken." 

Lawyer:  "That's  an  honest  confession,  but  a 
fatal  one  ;  for  with  it  your  grand  lecture  of  yester- 
day and  all  its  magnificent  theories  and  confident 
conclusions  fall  to  the  ground,  a  mass  of  ruins — 
with    a   professor    and    an  expert  buried  beneath 

m   THREE    CONTINENTS.  377 

them.  There  is  a  radical  difference  between  you 
and  Dr.  Stille  in  regard  to  one  of  the  most  essen- 
tial points  in  your  hypothesis  respecting  the  cause 
of  General  Ketchum's  death.  What  have  you  to 
say  for  yourself-  in  view  of  such   a  contradiction?" 

Doctor:  '^I  have  simply  to  inquire  in  what  re- 
gard he  thus  contradicts  me." 

Lawyer  :  ''  Oh,  I  will  make  it  plain  enough.  I 
will  soon  show  you  the  grave  which  j'-ou  have  dug 
for  yourself.  Don't  be  the  least  apprehensive  on 
that  point."  Here  he  was  interrupted  by  such  a 
storm  of  applause  from  the  audience  that  he  could 
scarcely  proceed.  "I  hold  in  my  hand,"  he  re- 
sumed, "  a  copy  of  Stille's  work  on  cerebro  spinal 
meningitis — the  disease  from  which  you  allege  that 
Oeneral  Ketchum  died .  0  n  page — he  states  emphat- 
ically that  this  disease  invariably  leaves  behind  cer- 
tain definite  lesions  in  the  brain  and  spinal  cord. 
No  such  lesions  were  found  in  the  brain  and  spinal 
€ord  of  Greneral  Ketchum,  and  in  order  to  recon- 
cile that  fact  with  your  theory,  you  stated  that  cere- 
bro spinal  meningitis  frequently  terminates  fatally 
without  leaving  any  lesion  whatsoever .  There  is, 
therefore,  a  palpable  difference  between  Dr.  Stille 
and  yourself,  and  by  acknowledging  his  superior 
authority  you  admit  your  oiun  error,  and  you  and 
your  theory  fall  together — a  common  wreck.  Your 
evidence,  in  fact,  amounts  to  nothing,  and  you 
are  caught  and  crushed  in  ''the  trap"  which  was 
set  for  you.  What  have  you  to  say  for  yourself? 
Where  do  you  stand  now,  Professor  Edward  War- 

It  certainly  looked  as  if  I  had  been  caught  and 
was  annihilated ;  and  it  was  in  vain  that  the 
judges  rapped  and  the  bailiffs  cried  '^Silence,"  for 
the  audience,  transported  with  delight  at  my  ap- 
parent discomfiture,  gave  expression  to  its  satis- 

378  A  doctor's  experiences 

faction  in  the  most  enthusiastic  applause.  When 
order  was  restored — though  the  audience  continued 
to  scowl  at  me  as  if  I  were  the  murderer — I  an- 
swered in  this  wise : 

Doctor  :  '''I  have  only  this  to  say,  sir  :  1  stand 
just  where  I  stood  before.  '  The  trap  '  is  not  strong 
enough  for  the  quarry.  Turn  to  page  — ,  para- 
graph — ,  and  you  will  see  that  Still e  states  ex- 
plicitly that  there  are  tivo  varieties  of  cerebro  spinal 
meningitis,  viz :  the  fulminant  and  the  inflammatory  ^ 
and  that  he  proposes  to  discuss  only  the  latter  form 
of  the  disease.  I  stated  distinctly  on  yesterday 
that,  in  all  probability,  Ketchum  died  of  fulmi- 
na7it cerebro  spinal  meningitis— that  variety  of  the 
disease  which  does  frequently  terminate  fatally 
without  leaving  a  lesion  behind  it.  There  is  then 
no  difference  between  Dr.  Stille  and  myself,  and  I 
am  neither  '  caught'  nor  annihilated. 

' '  In  proof  of  the  truth  of  my  position  that  fulmi- 
nant cerebro  spinal  meningitis  terminates  fatally 
without  leaving  a  discoverable  lesion  behind  it,  I 
will  thank  Mr.  Steele  to  open  the  trunk  beneath  his 
desk,  and  to  find  and  read  the  authorities  for  this 
statement  as  I  shall  indicate  them."  I  then  drew 
a  paper  from  my  pocket,  and  called  for  some 
twenty-five  authorities,  each  stating  in  the  most 
explicit  terms  that  the  fulminant  variety  of  cerebro 
spinal  meningitis  ''frequently  terminates  fatally 
without  leaving  an  appreciahle  lesion  either  in  the 
brain  or  spinal  cord." 

"  The  trap  "  which  had  been  prepared  for  my 
destruction  was  thus  converted  into  a  "  dead-fall  '^ 
for  my  adversaries,  and  my  triumph  was  made  com- 
plete while  their  defeat  was  correspondingly  ren- 
dered conspicuous. 

The  disappointed  crowd  retired  in  disgust ;  my 
baffled    opponents    folded    their    note-books    and 


looked  as  if  they  had  been  convicted  of  some 
crime  ;  the  lawyers  for  the  defense  beamed  with 
smiles  of  delight  and  triumph,  and  in  the  sorrow- 
ful eyes  of  the  accused  there  gleamed  the  light  of 
hope  and  thankfulness. 

The  attorney-general  then  lost  his  temper,  and 
the  following  scenes  followed  each  other,  after  a 
few  rambling  questions  : 

Lawyer  :  "  Where  would  this  lead  to,  Dr.  War- 
ren ?  " — supposing  some  hypothetical  case. 

Doctor  :  "I  cannot  tell,  as  the  hypothesis  itself 
is  absurd." 

Lawyer  :  "  But  you  medical  men  ought  to  know 
all  about  these  medical  matters." 

Doctor:  ''I  suppose  we  know  as  much  about 
these  medical  matters  as  you  lawyers." 

Lawyer:  '^  No,  sir;  you  doctors  have  the  ad- 
vantage of  us.  You  bury  your  mistakes  six  feet 
under  the  earth." 

Doctor  :  "  Yes,  and  you  lawyers  ha7ig  your  mis- 
takes in  the  air,"  pointing  significantly  to  Mrs. 

This  rejoinder  was  received  with  such  applause 
— despite  the  prejudice  of  the  audience — that  the 
judges  were  compelled  to  adjourn  the  court  for 
some  moments  in  order  that  order  might  be  suffi- 
ciently restored  for  the  transaction  of  its  business. 
Upon  the  reassembling  of  the  court  the  cross-ex- 
amination was  resumed  somewhat  in  this  wise : 

Lawyer  :  "  Dr.  Warren,  what  is  to  be  your  fee 
in  this  case?  " 

I  had  understood  that  this  insulting  question 
might  be  asked  if  all  otlier  means  failed  to  break 
me  down,  and,  though  almost  consumed  with  rage, 
I  restrained  my  feelings  and  answered  calmly. 

Doctor  :  "I  have  never  discussed  the  subject  of 
a  fee  with  any  one,  but  when  the  case  has  termi- 


nated  it  is  my  purpose  to  demand  compensation  for 
my  services  as  an  expert,  inasmuch  as  the  example 
has  been  set  me  in  that  regard  not  alone  by  some 
of  the  best  men  of  this  country  and  of  Europe^ 
but  hy  a  medical  luitness  for  the  State." 

Lawyer  :  "  Do  you  mean  to  sa}'^  that  any  medical 
witness  for  the  State  proposes  to  charge  for  his  ser- 
vices as  an  expert  in  this  case?" 

Doctor:  "I  do  mean  to  sav  so  most  emphati- 

Lawyer  :   ""  Who  is  he — name  him." 

Doctor:  "  L  feel  some  reluctance  in  giving  his 
name,  as  you  seem  to  regard  his  proposed  demand 
as  so  grave  an  offense.  Since  you  insist  upon  it, 
however,  I  have  to  say  that  it  is  the  principal 
medical  witness  for  the  State.  He  told  Dr.  John 
Morris  on  yesterday  that  he  had  been  employed  by 
the  State  as  an  expert  with  the  promise  of  remun- 
eration, and  he  also  consulted  him  as  to  whether 
he  should  demand  five  hundred  dollars  or  not." 

Had  a  bomb-shell  exploded  in  that  court-room  it 
could  not  have  produced  more  commotion,  and  the 
attorney-general,  utterly  surprised  and  silenced  by 
this  most  unexpected  announcement — for  the  ar- 
rano^ement  had  been  made  by  one  of  his  subordi- 
nates— permitted  me  to  retire  from  the  witness 
gtand — not  annihilated  at  least  by  the  rencontre. 

In  confirmation  of  the  truth  of  history  I  must 
add  that,  notwithstanding  the  "  card  of  vindica- 
tion ''  which  appeared  on  the  succeeding  day,  a 
bill  for  one  thousand  dollars  was  subsequently  pre- 
sented on  this  account,  and  its  payment  vehemently 
insisted  upon.  It  is  true  that  the  State  resisted 
the  demand,  and  thus  rendered  this  effort  to  vindi- 
cate the  claims  of  the  gallows  "a  labor  of  love" 
after  all ;  but  the  fact  that  it  was  made  still  re- 
mains, a  testimonial  to  the    accuracy    of  the    in- 


formation  which  you  had  given  me,  and  another 
illustration  of  the  wisdom  of  the  adage  that  those 
who  live  in  glass  houses  should  not  throw  stones. 
It  might  have  been  "  blood  money  "  which  was  so 
pertinaciously  demanded,  but  for  my  intervention, 
and  yet  it  was  fairly  earned  if  a  faithful  and 
prayerful  effort  to  hang  a  woman  can  constitute 
the  basis  of  an  obligation  upon  the  part  of  a  civil- 
ized state  to  Christian  gentlemen. 

It  has  been  said  that  I  received  a  large  reward 
for  thus  rescuing  Mrs.  Wharton  from  the  gallows, 
but  such  is  not  the  fact  by  any  means.  But  for  the 
intervention  of  Mr.  Thomas,  I  should  not  have  re- 
ceived a  cent,  and,  as  it  was,  I  was  not  paid  for  my 
services  as  an  expert  a  sufficient  amount  to  cover 
necessary  expenses,  and  to  compensate  for  the  loss 
incident  to  an  absence  of  nearly  forty  days  from 
my  business. 

So  soon  as  I  was  released  from  the  witness  stand, 
I  prepared  and  sent  to  the  attorney-general  a  note 
insisting  on  a  public  apology  for  the  insulting 
question  which  he  had  propounded. 

But  there  lives  no  kinder  or  truer  man  than 
A.  K.  Syester,  and  before  my  note  could  be  de- 
livered he  handed  me  a  scrap  of  paper  upon  which 
were  w^ritten  these  w^ords  : 

^'  If  I  can  do  anything  to  restore  the  good  feel- 
ing between  Dr.  Warren  and  myself,  which  I  my- 
self improperly  interrupted- — yet  not  wholly  with- 
out provocation — I  will  be  commanded  by  him.  I 
regretted  my  course  the  moment  it  was  over. 

''A.  K.  Syester.'^ 

He  arose  and  said  :  ^^  May  it  please  your  honors. 
In  a  moment  of  excitement  I  asked  Dr.  Warren  a 
very  rude  and  improper  question — one  that  I  re- 

382  A  doctor's  experiexces 

grettecl  so  soon  as  the  words  were  uttered.  I, 
therefore,  take  this  occasion  to  express  m}^  sincere 
regret  at  what  has  occurred,  and  to  say  publicly 
that  I  believe  his  testimony  to  have  been  as  candid 
and  honest  as  it  was  able  and  scientific." 

I  waited  for  him  at  the  door  of  the  court-house, 
gave  him  my  hand  most  cordially,  and  offered  him 
a  challenge  which  I  never  knew  declined  in  Mary- 
land— to  join  me  in  '^  forty  drops  "  of  the  best  that 
the  hotel  could  afford.  We  have  been  devoted 
friends  ever  since  and  such  we  shall  continue  to 
the  end.  As  a  proof  of  the  kindliness  of  his  feel- 
ings for  me  I  beg  you  to  read  the  subjoined  copy  of 
a  letter  which  I  received  from  him  on  the  eve  of 
my  departure  for  Egypt : 

State  of  Maryland, 
Office  of  the  Attorney-General, 

Hagerstown,  March  25,  1873. 
My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  cannot  describe  the  unfeigned  regret  I  expe- 
rienced in  your  loss  to  us  all,  especially  to  me  ;  for 
although  I  have  not  seen  and  been  with  you  as  much 
as  I  desired,  I  always  looked  forward  with  pleasure 
to  some  time  when  our  engagements  would  per- 
mit a  closer  acquaintance,  and  become  warmed  into 
a  firmer  and  more  fervid  friendship.  I  dare  not 
indulge  the  hope  of  hearing  from  you  in  your  new 
position,  but  not  many  things  would  prove  more 
agreeable  to  me.  Present  my  compliments  to 
your  wife.  That  you  and  she  may  ever  be  con- 
tented and  happy  in  life,  and  that  you  may  be  as 
prosperous  as  your  great  talents  and  unequaled 
acquirements  so  richly  deserve^  is  the  earnest  hope 

Your  humble  but  undeviating  friend, 

A.   K.  Syester. 


T  hope  some  day  to  see  him  governor  of  Mary- 
land, for  no  man  conld  fill  the  office  with  more 
honor  or  greater  ability. 

As  an  indication  of  the  impression  which  my 
evidence  produced  at  the  time,  not  only  in  Annapo- 
lis but  throughout  the  scientific  world,  I  refer  with 
pleasure  to  the  fact  that  I  was  approached  succes- 
sively by  the  judges,  jury  and  the  attorneys  for 
both  sides,  and  assured  by  them  that  I  had  saved 
Mrs.  Wharton's  life,  while  I  received  letters  of 
congratulation  and  commendation  from  a  number 
of  the  most  prominent  medical  men  of  America  and 
Europe.  Mrs.  Wharton  sent  for  me,  and,  while 
she  and  her  noble  daughter  overwhelmed  me  with 
expressions  of  gratitude,  she  charged  me  to  remem- 
ber as  a  consolation  in  after  life  that  I  had  ''  served 
and  rescued  an  innocent  woman." 

384  .  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

As  I  have  often  remarked  to  you,  General  Ket- 
clium  surely  died  from  some  other  cause  than  anti- 
monial  poisoning,  as  the  ablest  toxicologists  of  the 
world  unite  in  asserting,  and  if  the  accused  really 
poisoned  any  one,  she  was  insane  at  the  time  and 
oblivious  of  it  afterward. 

At  any  rate  I  acted  throughout  in  obedienge  to 
the  dictates  of  my  conscience,  and,  though  I  have 
had  to  bear  much  of  obloquy  and  persecution  on 
account  of  my  connection  with  the  case,  I  have 
never  regretted  the  stand  which  I  made  for  what 
I  conceived  to  be  the  true  principles  of  science,  and 
the  defense  of  a  woman  who  was  without  friends 
and  in  great  tribulation. 

The  vilest  wretch  is  entitled  to  the  fairest  trial, 
and  when  appealed  to  "in  the  interest  of  truth  and 
justice"  I  determined  that  she  should  have  one, 
whether  guilty  or  innocent,  and  whatever  might 
be  the  consequence  to  myself. 

In  attempting  to  give  from  memory  a  history  of 
the  memorable  rencontre  between  the  attorney- 
general  and  myself,  I  pretend  to  no  accuracy  save 
as  regards  the  substance-matter,  of  it — nearly  thir- 
teen years  having  elapsed  since  its  occurrence. 

If  I  have  done  him  the  slightest  injustice,  I 
would  repair  it  by  saying  that  an  abler  officer  and 
a  truer  gentleman  never  represented  the  dignity  of 
a  State  or  vindicated  the  majesty  of  the  law. 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  385 

My  assertion  that  cerebro  spinal  meningitis  had 
existed  in  an  epidemic  form  in  Baltimore  was  vig- 
orously controverted. 

In  order  to  contradict  me  in  that  regard,  the 
attorney-general  introduced  a  number  of  repre- 
sentative practitioners  from  all  porti(ms  of  the  city, 
each  of  whora  testified  that  the  disease  had  not  as- 
sumed an  epidemic  form  in  Baltimore,  and  that  my 
statement  was  unsustained  by  any  fact  within  his 

The  attorneys  for  the  defense  completely  turned 
this  battery  upon  their  adversaries.  They  ex- 
tracted from  each  witness  the  admission  that  sev- 
eral cases  of  the  disease  had  occurred  in«his  prac- 
tice, and  then,  by  taking  the  aggregate  of  the 
whole  number  thus  reported,  showed  that  cerebro 
spinal  meningitis  had  prevailed  extensively  in  Bal- 
timore ;  that  there  had  been,  in  fact,  a  serious  and 
extreme  epidemic  of  it  contemporaneously  with 
General  Ketchum's  death. 

Among  these  so-called  "  representative  practi- 
tioners" there  was  one  who,  by  the  specially  of- 
fensive manner  in  which  he  testified  to  the  non- 
existence of  the  epidemic,  invited  an  attack  from 
Mr.  Steele^  which  he  received  to  his  utter  humilia- 
tion, as  you  will  remember.  Standing  erect,  with 
a  copy  of  the  Baltimore  Journal  of  Medicine  in  his 
hand,  he  cross-examined  him  somewhat  in  this 
wise  : 

Lawyer  :   ''  Do  you  reside  in  Baltimore?" 

Witness:    ''  I  do,  sir." 

Lawyer:    ^'And  ^ou  practice  medicine  there?" 

Witness  :   "  Yes,  sir." 

Lawyer:  '"Are  you  acquainted  with  this  jour- 

Witness:    ^'1  am  acquainted  with  it,  sir." 

Lawyer:    ''Who   is    the   author   of  the   article 

386  A  doctor's  experiences 

which    recently   appeared   in   it,  entitled  Cerebro- 
spinal Meningitis  ?" 

Witness:  "  I  am  the  author,"  stammering  and 
trembling  as  if  he  had  been  caught  in  an  act  of 
theft  or  some  other  disreputable  proceeding. 

Lawyer:  ^^And  you  now  state  here  that 
there  '  has  been  no  epidemic  of  the  disease  in  Bal- 
timore/ when  only  a  short  time  since  you  deliber- 
ately wrote  a  paper  for  this  journal,  declaring  that 
'  an  epidemic  of  cerebro  spinal  meningitis  exists  at 
this  moment  in  Baltimore/  and  relating  the  his- 
tory of  a  number  of  cases  which  were  treated  by 
you.     Which  statement  is  the  true  one  ?" 

From  'the  discomfited  and  crestfallen  witness 
there  came  no  answer,  and,  with  great  beads  of 
perspiration  oozing  from  every  pore  of  his  hyper- 
trophied  epidermis,  he  slank  away  with  the  whine 
of  a  castigated  spaniel  upon  his  lips  and  the  ma- 
lignity of  a  baffled  viper  in  his  heart. 

Some  months  afterward,  when  the  intervention 
of  seven  thousand  miles  supplied  him  with  an  op- 
portunity to  strike  back  with  fancied  impunity,  he 
read  a  paper  before  one  of  the  medical  societies  of 
Baltimore,  in  which  he  charged  that  ''one  of  the 
witnesses  for  the  defense  (meaning  myself)  had 
misrepresented  the  facts  of  the  case  to  Drs.  Taylor 
and  Stevenson,  of  London,  and  in  that  way  had 
obtained  from  them  ojDinions  favorable  to  his  view 
of  the  case,"  The  paper  containing  this  infamous 
slander  was  immediately  sent  to  these  gentlemen, 
with  the  result  of  eliciting  from  them  the  follow- 
ing letters  in  reply  : 

15  St.  James'  Terrace, 
Regent's  Park,  June  27,  1874. 
Dr.  Warren-Bey,  Cairo. 

Dear  Sir:   Your  letter  dated  Cairo,   Jane    13, 


has  been  forwarded  to  me  by  Dr.  Stevenson.  In 
answer  to  your  interrogatories,  I  beg  leave  to  say 
that  I  received  a  copy  of  the  Baltimore  Gazette' s 
report  of  the  Wharton-Ketchum  trial.  It  was 
addressed  not  to  me  personally,  but  to  the  "  Pro- 
fessor of  Chemistry,  Gruy's  Hospital."  As  I  had 
resigned  the  office,  the  report  fell  into  the  hands 
of  my  successor,  Dr.  Stevenson,  and  he  had  it  in 
his  possession  for  some  weeks,  when  he  handed  it 
to  me,  as  being  originally  intended  for  me. 

You  did  not  furnish  me  with  any  other  statement, 
report  or  document  relating  to  that  trial  or  any 
other  subject. 

You  did  not,  by  any  word,  hint  or  act,  comment 
on  the  evidence  given  at  that  trial,  or  in  any  way 
attempt  to  influence  or  bias  my  judgment  in  regard 
to  it. 

The  premises  for  my  decision  regarding  the  case 
of  General  Ketchum  were  derived  chiefly  from  the 
report  of  the  Baltimore  Gazette — sent  by  you,  as  I 
now  find. 

Taken  as  a  whole,  I  do  not  consider  that  the 
symptoms  have  any  resemblance  to  those  which  are 
observed  in  poisoning  w^ith  antimony,  and  a  further 
examination  of  the  case  has  satisfied  me  that  this  is 
the  only  conclusion  to  which  the  medical  facts  lead. 
In  the  Guy's  Hospital  report  for  1857  I  collected 
and  reported  thirty-seven  cases  of  poisoning  with 
antimony.  Upon  the  facts  here  collected  and 
others  which  have  come  to  my  knowledge  since,  I 
believe  that  the  death  of  General  Ketchum  was  not 
caused  by  antimonial  poisoning. 

The  chemical  evidence  did  not  show  conclusively 
the  presence  of  antimony  in  articles  submitted  to 
analysis  for  evidence  at  the  trial.  There  was  a 
fatal  omission  in  those  who    attended  on   the  de- 

388  A  doctor's  experiences 

ceased  in  liis  last  illness  :  the  urine  was  not  ex- 
amined for  antimony  while  the  patient  was  living. 
The  only  conclusion  to  be  drawn  from  this  omission 
is  that  those  who  were  in  attendance  on  the  Gen- 
eral did  not  suspect  that  his  was  a  case  of  antimonial 
poisoning  while  he  was  living  and  undergoing 
medical  treatment,  or  they  willfully  neglected  to 
adopt  the  best  mode  of  verifying  their  suspicions 
and  counteracting  the  effects  of  poison. 

As  before  this  occasion  I  have  never  received  any 
letter  from  you  or  corresponded  with  you  in  any  way, 
I  must  express  my  surprise  that  it  should  have  been 
imputed  to  you  that  you  have  in  any  way  attempted 
to  influence  my  judgment.  I  did  not  even  know 
that  you  had  sent  me  the  report  of  the  Baltimore 
Gazette^  until  Dr.  Stevenson  informed  me,  long 
after  its  arrival  in  England.  Yon  have  my  author- 
ity for  stating  as  publicly  as  you  please  that  such 
an  imputation  is  utterly  untrue,  and  if  made  by  a 
professional  man,  most  unjustifiable.  My  opinion 
of  the  Ketch um  case  was  formed  apart  from  all 
local  influences  and  prejudices.  Having  now  had 
an  experience  of  forty-three  years  in  the  sub- 
jects of  poisoning,  and  an  opportunity  of  examining 
durino'  that  period  some  hundreds  of  cases,  I  feel 
myself  in  a  position  to  act  independently  of  all 
hints  and  suggestions.  To  extra-forensic  statements 
in  a  case  like  this  I  give  no  attention. 

I  presume  the  telegram  which  you  quote  in  your 
letter  refers  to  me.  You  are  at  liberty  to  state  in 
reply  that  no  experts  for  prosecution  or  defense 
made  any  application  to  me  in  reference  to  this 
trial,  or  furnished  me  with  any  premises  or  infor- 
mation respecting  it.  The  whole  storj'  is  a  false- 
hood from  beginning  to  end.  I  see  that  Dr.  Keese 
has  been  implicated  in  the  matter.     I  do  not  know 


him  except  by  name.     I  never  wrote  to  him,  or  re- 
ceived any  letter  from  him,  respecting  this  trial. 
I  am,  yours,  very  truly, 

Alfred  S.  Taylor. 

21  Caversham  Road,  N.  W., 

London,  July  3,  1874. 

To  his  Excellency,  Warren-Bey,  Cairo,  Egypt. 

My  Dear  Sir  :  I  forwarded  your  letter  to  my 
colleague,  Dr.  Alfred  Swaine  Taylor,  F.  R.  S. , 
and  he  has  handed  me  the  letter  which  I  now  for- 
ward to  you.  I  have  read  it  at  his  request,  and  I 
can  speak  with  knowledge  as  to  the  circumstances 
under  which  hebecameacquainted  with  the  Warton- 
Ketchum  case.  In  May,  1872, 1  received  by  post  at 
Gay's  Hospital  a  pamphlet,  being  a  reprint  from 
the  Baltimore  Gazette,  of  the  report  of  the  trial.  I 
had  no  knowledge  of  the  case  before,  and  was 
ignorant  in  regard  to  the  sending  of  the  report  un- 
til I  came  to  your  evidence,  when  I  found  your 
name  underlined,  with  the  simple  word  "compli- 
ments" added  in  pencil.  When  I  had  read,  the 
report  I  handed  it  to  my  predecessor  in  the  chemical 
chair.  Dr.  Taylor. 

My  own  opinion  of  the  case,  from  reading  the  re- 
port, was  this  :  That  the  chemical  evidence  broke 
down  and  did  not  prove  that  "twenty  grains  of 
tartar  emetic  "  were  administered  to  General  Ketch- 
um  ;  and  that  the  symptoms  were  not  character- 
istic of  any  antimonial  poisoning,  and  might  have 
been  produced  by  natural  causes.  Both  Dr.  Tay- 
lor and  I  think  that  you  may  fairly  disregard  all 
attacks  upon  your  character,  as  every  one  is  liable 

390  A  doctor's  experiexces 

to  them.     As  for  furnishing  ^' false  data,"  I  know- 
that  all  you  furnished  was  the  Gazette' s  report. 
Very  truly  yours,  etc., 

Thomas  Stevenson, 
Professor  of  Che^nistry, 
Guy's  Hospital,  London . 

In  concluding  this  subject,  it  is  only  just  to  say 
that  Dr.  Taylor  in  subsequent  editions  of  his  works 
on  ''Poisons"  and  on  "Medical  Jurisprudence," 
which  are  the  recognized  authorities  of  the  civilized 
world,  has  reviewed  the  Wharton  case,  emphatically 
reaffirming  the  opinions  expressed  in  his  letter. 

But  if  I  was  victorious  at  Annapolis  I  had  to  pay 
dearly  for  it  in  Baltimore.  So  great  was  the  preju- 
dice against  Mrs.  Wharton  that  the  public  turned 
uj)on  me  as  if  I  had  committed  the  crime ;  I  was  sub- 
jected to  indignities  of  every  description  ;  my  family 
was  reviled  upon  the  public  streets  ;  nearly  all  of 
my  patrons  deserted  me,  and  I  became  as  impecu- 
nious as  in  the  days  succeeding  the  surrender  ;  I 
was  subjected  to  a  social  ostracism  that  rendered 
life  a  burden  to  me  and  to  those  connected  with  me. 
The  most  absurd  stories  were  circulated  respecting 
the  amount  and  the  manner  of  my  compensation 
as  an  expert ;  and  although  I  never  saw  General 
Ketchum  or  heard  of  Mrs.  Wharton  until  the  death 
of  the  one  and  the  imprisonment  of  the  other,  the 
suspicion  gained  credence  that  I  was  in  some  way 
implicated  in  the  supposed  crime. 

My  bank  account  was  pried  into  ;  my  every  act 
and  word  was  criticised  and  misrepresented  ;  and  I 
was  shadowed  perpetually  by  spies  and  detectives. 
I  had  been  recommended  for  the  office  of  coroner 
by  a  large  number  of  the  most  prominent  citizens 
of  Maryland,  but  my  supporters  withdrew  their 
indorsement  and  a  pliant  legislature  relieved  the 


governor  of  his  embarrassment  in  regard  to  my 
promised  appointment  by  changing  the  law  creat- 
ing the  office.  In  a  word,  every  humiliation  and 
outrage  that  insane  prejudice  and  disappointed 
malignity  could  devise  was  heaped  upon  me,  and 
■all  because,  in  testifying  according  to  my  conscien- 
tious convictions,  I  had  baffled  those  who  so  per- 
sistently sought  the  condemnation  of  a  friendless 

In  the  midst  of  these  persecutions  I  attended  a 
meeting  of  the  American  Medical  Association  in 
Philadelphia,  and  had  an  experience  there  which 
atoned  in  a  great  measure  for  the  outrages  to  which 
I  had  been  subjected  in  Baltimore.  I  was  over- 
whelmed with  civilities  and  attentions.  Represen- 
tative men  from  all  sections  sought  me  out  to 
•express  their  personal  sympathy,  and  their  profes- 
sional concurrence  in  the  position  which  I  had 
taken  in  the  case.  They  assured  me  that  I  was 
sustained  by  the  profession  of  the  country,  and 
that  I  had  made  a  reputation  that  would  survive 
the  prejudices  of  the  hour  and  the  machinations  of 
those  who  were  seeking  my  destruction.  But  they 
went  further  than  mere  expressions  of  regard  and 
congratulation.  I  was  made  chairman  of  the  sec- 
tion of  surgery  and  anatomy  for  the  ensuing  year^  a 
position  second  only  in  honor  to  that  of  the  presi- 
dency of  the  association.  I  should  have  been 
pleased  at  any  time  to  receive  so  distinguished  a 
compliment,  but,  coming  as  it  did  at  that  critical 
period  in  my  history — when  my  heart  was  chafing 
under  a  sense  of  unmerited  censure  and  unprovoked 
outrage — it  soothed  and  inspired  me  to  a  degree 
that  language  is  inadequate  to  portray.  Only 
those  who  have  walked  through  the  fiery  furnace 
of  persecution  with  a  consciousness  of  rectitude 
appealing  perpetually  against  the  injustice  of  their 

392  A  doctor's  experiences 

lot,  can  appreciate  the  happiness  which  pervaded 
my  bosom  in  view  of  this  conspicuous  mark  of  sym- 
pathy and  confidence — this  vindication  of  my  honor 
and  loyalty  at  the  hands  of  the  profession  of  the 
country.  I  felt  that  I  had  been  tried  and  acquitted 
by  my  peers,  and  thenceforward  I  cared  no  more  for 
the  insane  rabble  and  the  reviling  schools  than  for 
the  hissing  geese  upon  the  common  or  the  yelping 
curs  in  the  streets.  Sustained  by  the  approval  of 
my  own  conscience^  and  the  indorsement  of  the 
great  body  of  my  confreres,  I  walked  the  streets  of 
Baltimore  with  as  erect  a  head  and  as  proud  a  heart 
as  any  other  honest  man  within  its  limits,  leaving 
my  vindication  to  Him  who  is  the  illustration  of 
truth  and  the  embodiment  of  justice.  At  that 
meeting  I  presented  to  the  surgical  section  of  the 
association  a  new  splint  for  fractures  of  the  clav- 
icle, which  attracted  much  attention,  and  is  really 
an' apparatus  of  great  utility.  While  it  keeps  the 
shoulder  upon  its  normal  plane  and  retains  the 
fragments  in  accurate  apposition,  it  permits  all  the 
movements  of  the  forearm  without  subjecting  the 
patient  to  inconvenience.  It  has  been  tried  in  a 
number  of  cases  with  absolute  success. 

And  though,  perhaps,  something  of  the  old  pre- 
judice may  have  been  perpetuated  by  the  breath  of 
professional  jealousy,  I  lived  to  see  the  day  when 
I  could  count  among  my  personal  friends  many  of 
the  best  people  of  the  city,  and  could  boast  of  as 
large  a  class  of  students  and  as  long  a  list  of  pa- 
tients as  the  most  popular  of  its  professors  and 

Amid  all  the  trials  and  difficulties  of  that  pain- 
ful period,  when  "  clouds  were  dark  and  friends 
were  few,"  you  stood  by  me  with  the  unfaltering 
fxith  and  the  fond  affection  of  a  brother.  Circum- 
stances have  never  permitted  me  to  show  the  deptli 


of  the  gratitude  wliicli  your  devotion  inspired,  but 
I  have  taught  my  children  to  honor  you  as  the  best 
of  men,  and  to  love  you  as  their  father's  especial 
Iriend  and  benefactor .  She  whose  untimely  loss  has 
filled  my  bosom  with  an  eternal  sorrow  had  selected 
your  name  for  her  unborn  babe,  and  it  has  thus 
become  doubly  sacred  to  me  by  its  association  with 
her  who  is  dearest  to  my  soul,  and  with  you  who 
have  served  me  with  the  greatest  fidelity.  We 
may  never  meet  again,  but  while  consciousness  and 
identity  remain  I  shall  never  cease  to  remember 
yoar  kindness  in  the  day  of  adversity  or  to  pray 
that  heaven  may  reward  your  loyalty  and  devotion 
to  me  and  mine. 

I  cannot  dwell  on  the  great  calamity  which  finally 
blighted  my  life  in  Baltimore,  and  compelled  me 
to  seek  in  other  scenes  a  surcease  from  the  sorrow 
which  so  oppressed  and  paralyzed  me  there. 

Fourteen  years  have  passed  since  we  stood  'to- 
gether at  the  grave  of  my  darling  boy,  but  the 
wound  of  that  sad  bereavement  has  never  healed, 
and  will  be  felt  until  my  heart  has  ceased  to  pul- 

After  three  years  spent  in  a  vain  and  painful 
struggle  to  command  myself  sufiiciently  for  the 
proper  performance  of  my  professional  duties,  I 
followed  your  advice  and  determined  to  remove  to 
some  other  locality,  hoping  to  break  the  spell  of 
sorrow  by  shifting  the  scene  of  my  life  and  labors. 

394  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor: 

I  first  sought  a  professorship  in  the  University 
of  New  York,  thinking  that  a  residence  in  that 
city  might  serve  to  distract  my  thoughts  and  give 
a  zeal  to  my  existence.  With  that  end  in  view, 
I  presented  to  the  dean  of  the  University  of  New 
York  letters  of  recommendation  from  a  number  of 
leading  men  both  in  and  out  of  the  profession,  two  of 
which  I  reproduce  because  of  the  eminence  of  their 
authors  and  of  the  specially  emphatic  terms  in 
which  they  indorsed  me  : 

Philadelphia,  3Iay  8,  1872. 
My  Dear  Doctor  Warren: 

It  is  difficult  for  me  to  say  anything  respecting 
one  who  is  so  well  known  throughout  the  country 
as  a  gentleman,  practitioner  and  a  teacher  of  medi- 
cine. Any  medical  school  I  am  sure  ought  to  be 
proud  to  give  you  a  place  in  its  faculty.  As  a 
teacher  of  surgery — off-hand,  ready  and  even  bril- 
liant— there  is  no  one  in  the  country  that  surpasses 
you.  As  an  operator  and  a  general  practitioner, 
your  ability  has  long  been  everywhere  recognized. 
Your  success  as  a  popular  lecturer  has  been  re- 
markably great.  As  a  journalist  you  have  wielded 
a  ready  and  graceful  pen.  Some  of  3^our  opera- 
tions reflect  great  credit  upon  your  judgment   and 


skill.     Of  your  moral  character  I  liave  never  heard 
anything  hut  what  was  good  and  honorahle. 

I  hope  with  all  my  heart  you  may  obtain  a  posi- 
tion in  one  of  the  New  York  schools.  Your  great 
popularity  in  the  Southern  States  could  not  fail  to 
be  of  service  in  drawing  Southern  students.  My 
only  regret  is  that  we  have  no  place  to  offer  you  in 

Wishing  you  every  possible  succesSj  I  am,  dear 
doctor,  very  truly  your  friend, 

S.  D.   Gross, 
Professor  of  Surgery^ 
Jefferson  Medical  School. 
Professor  Edward  Warren,  Baltimore,  Md. 

University  of  Virginia,  May  18,  1872. 
To  THE  Faculty  of  the  University  Medical  Col- 
lege OF  New  York. 

Gentlemen  :  It  gives  me  great  pleasure  to  rec- 
ommend to  your  favorable  consideration  Dr.  Ed- 
ward Warren. 

I  have  known  Dr.  Warren  from  his  boyhood, 
and  can  testify  to  his  excellent  character,  fine  tal- 
ents, indomitable  perseverance  in  the  pursuit  of 
knowledge  and  the  discharge  of  professional  duties. 

Dr.  Warren's  attainments  are  of  a  high  order 
in  genuine  scholarship.  He  made  unusual  profi- 
ciency in  moral  philosophy,  and  graduated  also 
with  distinction  in  other  schools  in  the  University 
of  Virginia. 

Of  his  professional  attainments  I  am  not  compe- 
tent to  judge,  but  I  know  that  he  has  been  success- 
ful when  competition  was  intense,  and  I  learn  from 
others,  competent  to  judge,  that  he  has  every  quali- 
fication to  insure  success  in  the  chair  of  surgery, 

396  A  doctor's  experiences 

the  place  which  I  learn  he   seeks  in  your  institu- 

Very  respectfully,  etc., 

W.    H.    McGUFFY, 

Professor  Moral  Philosophy  University  of  Va. 

Few  things  have  given  me  mure  pleasure  than 
these  kind  and  complimentary  letters,  and  I  shall 
ever  guard  them  among  my  treasures. 

Having  failed  in  this  effort  because  no  vacancy 
existed  in  the  school,  and  still  appreciating  the  ne- 
cessity for  a  change  of  surroundings,  I  sought  and 
secured  a  position  under  the  Khedive  of  Egypt. 

After  the  American  war,  with  a  view  of  avail- 
ing himself  of  the  military  skill  and  experience 
which  it  had  developed,  his  highness  took  meas- 
ures to  secure  the  services  of  a  number  of  officers 
from  both  armies,  as  he  was  then  filled  with  the 
idea  of  separating  Egvpt  from  the  dominion  of 

Happening  one  day  to  look  from  my  window  I 
saw  Colonel  Walter  Jenifer — an  old  friend  who 
some  time  before  had  entered  the  Egyptian  army 
■ — walking  up  Charles  street,  looking  magnificently 
in  a  semi-military  costume.  Hurrying  after  him 
he  gave  me  a  cordial  greeting,  and  returned  with 
me  to  my  office  to  talk  over  his  experience  in  ''the 
land  of  the  Pharaohs." 

He  gave  me  such  a  glowing  account  of  the  coun- 
try, and  of  the  manner  in  which  the  American  officers 
had  been  treated  there,  that  I  became  immediately 
imbued  with  the  desire  to  follow  his  example  and 
enter  the  service  of  the  Khedive.  I  promptly  took 
measures  to  obtain  from  my  friends  generally  let- 
ters of  recommendation  to  the  American  officers 
then  in  authority  at  Cairo,   and  forwarded  them 


together  with  a  formal  application  for  a  position  in 
the  medical  stafp  of  the  Egyptian  army. 

Some  weeks  afterward  I  received  a  letter  from 
the  war  office,  offering  me  the  position  of  chief  sur- 
geon of  the  general  staff  of  the  army,  with  the 
rank  and  pay  of  lieutenant-colonel  and  transporta- 
tion to  and  from  Cairo.  I  was  also  referred  to  Gen- 
eral Sherman,  who  had  been  authorized  by  the 
Khedive  to  select  such  officers  as  were  required 
smd  to  arrange  for  their  transportation. 

I  visited  General  Sherman  at  once  and  was  re- 
ceived very  cordially,  as  he  had  not  forgotten  our 
relations  during  the  war.  I  told  him  very  candidly 
that  although  desirous  of  going  to  Egypt  I  could 
not  do  so  unless  I  was  made  a  full  colonel,  and 
was  given  permission  to  practice  my  profession  in 
Cairo.  He  agreed  to  telegraph  to  that  effect  and 
to  communicate  the  result  so  soon  as  he  had  re- 
ceived an  answer. 

Some  days  afterward  he  sent  me  a  telegram  from 
the  Egyptian  authorities  accepting  my  terms,  and 
-a  formal  appointment  from  himself,  embracing  the 
conditions  to  which  I  have  referred.  I  thus  sud- 
denly found  myself  committed  to  the  service  under' 
the  Khedive  ;*  and  when  the  reality  of  a  residence 
in  so  distant  a  land  and  a  radical  change  in  all  my 
plans  of  life  was  actually  brought  before  me,*l  must 
confess  that  it  seemed  a  far  more  serious  step  than  I 
had  originally  conceived  of,  and  one  that  I  greatly 
hesitated  to  take.  In  midst  of  my  perplexity  I 
had  the  curious  dream  to  which  I  have  already  re- 
ferred, and  but  for  it  I  should  never  have  had  the 
courage  to  make  the  venture. 

Do  you  remember  the  dinner  which  you  and 
other  friends  gave  me  at  Barnum's  just  previous  to 

See  Apx^endix  (A), 

398  A  doctor's  experiences 

my  departure?  I  have  never  forgotten  it,  and  its 
menu  hangs  framed  to-day  in  my  office,  a  connect- 
ing link  between  the  past  and  the  present,  and  a 
souvenir  of  a  most  delightful  occasion.  How  many 
times,  when  surfeited  with  the  cuisine  of  foreign 
lands,  have  I  refreshed  my  palate  by  contemplating^ 
its  tempting  spread  of  terrapins,  oysters,  canvas- 
back  ducks,  etc.  Each  guest  of  that  deliglitful 
evening  is  associated  with  the  choicest  delicacies  of 
Barnum's,  and  that  alone  is  sufficient  to  embalm 
him  forever  in  my  memory.  What  a  charming 
event  it  proved  to  me  !  For  it  was  a  gathering  of 
my  friends,  of  those  who  believed  in  me,  and  wha 
had  stood  bravely  by  me  in  all  the  vicissitudes  of 
my  life  in  Baltimore.  And  the  old  Maderia  which 
Mr.  Dorsey  produced  to  drink  a  parting  toast  to 
my  "health  and  happiness" — its  bouquet  has 
lingered  in  my  nostrils  and  its  flavor  upon  my  lips 
ever  since.  But  friendship — true  and  tried — was 
the  sauce  that  flavored  the  courses  that  night,  and 
gave  them  a  relish  beyond  the  dream  of  the  chef  Sit 
Voisin's  or  Vefour's. 

I  stopped  on  the  Jersey  side  so  as  to  take  the 
Cunarder  which  then  started  from  that  locality, 
and  while  dressing  on  the  morning  of  my  depart- 
ure tl^ere  was  a  rap  at  my  door,  and  in  walked 
William — the  colored  boy  who  had  served  me  so 
long  and  so  faithfully  in  Baltimore. 

"  What  on  earth  has  brought  you  here,  Will- 
iam?" was  my  surprised  exclamation. 

"  Well_,  Doctor,  you  see  you  are  used  to  me  and 
to  my  ways,  and  I  am  going  along  with  you,"  he 

'^  What,  going  with  me  to  Egypt?"  I  exclaimed. 

"Yes,  sir,  I  am  a-gwine  to  Egypt  with  you. 
You  see  I  told   Mrs.  Warren  I  wanted  to  go  and 


she  sent  me.     I  am  a-gwine  to  take  care  of  you," 
he  replied. 

And  he  went  with  me,  and  he  is  with  me  still, 
the  most  loyal,  devoted  and  humble  of  servants, 
although  he  speaks  three  or  four  languages,  and 
has  been  petted  by  everybody  on  this  side  of  the 

His  father  was  a  freed  man,  and  at  one  time  pos- 
sessed a  considerable  estate,  including  several  ne- 
groes. Being  naturally  over-confiding  and  rather 
thriftless,  his  brother  soon  managed  to  get  him 
into  debt  and  to  obtain  possession  of  his  property  ; 
and  when-  I  knew  him  he  was  glad  to  obtain 
work  in  the  college  with  which  I  was  con- 
nected. One  nisrht  he  tried  his  hand  as  a  resur- 
rectionist,  with  the  result  of  an  arrest  and  an 
imprisonment  for  three  months,  notwithstanding 
our  urgent  efforts  to  secure  his  release.  Quite  an 
amusing  incident  occurred  in  this  connection  which 
illustrates  the  power  of  avarice  over  the  human 
soul,  even  though  it  be  that  of  a  doctor.  The  bail 
for  our  captured  resurrectionist  was  fixed  at  five 
hundred  dollars,  and  it  became  necessary  to  find 
two  sureties — both  property-owners — each  to  be- 
come responsible  for  one-half  of  that  sum.  Only 
two  members  of  the  faculty  possessed  ^'real  estate" 
in  Baltimore,  and  it  was  agreed  to  request  them 
to  sign  the  bond,  and  for  the  rest  to  subscribe  to  a 
paper  securing  them  from  all  loss.  The  most  in- 
timate friend  of  one  of  the  property- owners  was 
delegated  to  visit  him  for  the  purpose  of  explain- 
ing and  arranging  the  matter.  He  went  to  the 
house  of  our  rich  confrere^  and  after  telling  him  of 
Hughes'  arrest,  and  of  the  certainty  that  the  poor 
fellow  would  have  to  remain  three  months  in  jail 
unless  bail  could  be  found,  etc.,  requested  him  to 

400  A  doctor's  experiences 

become  one  of  the  sureties   on  tlie  terms  already 

"  What,  become  securit}^  for  two  hundred  and 
fifty  dollars !  "  he  exclaimed  ;  ''impossible  !  I  would 
not  sign  for  that  sum  to  take  you  out  of  jail." 

And  yet  he  w^as  worth  a  square  million,  and 
the  party  addressed  was  his  dearest  friend.  Our 
ambassador  departed  precipitately,  and  poor  Hughes 
remained  in  prison  for  the  full  term  of  three  months. 
Finding  him  honest  and  reliable  I  took  one  of  his 
sons,  who  was  then  about  fifteen  years  of  age.  into 
m}^  service  ;  and  he  has  been  with  me  ever  since, 
embracing  a  period  of  some  sixteen  years.  Possess- 
ing a  kindly  disposition,  and  being  naturally  fond  of 
children,  he  soon  became  a  great  favorite  with  my 
family  and  has  remained  so  up  to  the  present  mo- 
ment. Ele  has  proved  invaluable  to  me  in  connec- 
tion with  my  professional  work,  having  learned  to 
assist  in  operations,  to  dress  wounds,  to  extract 
teeth,  to  give  hypodermic  injections,  and  to  do  a 
variety  of  things  which  a  physician  in  full  prac- 
tice requires  to  have  done  for  him.  But  it  is  es- 
pecially as  a  garcon  de  rece2:)tion  that  he  excels.  He 
can  distinguish  "who  is  who"  at  a  glance  ;  he 
know^s  how  to  commiserate  w^ith  a  patient  on  his 
first  visit,  and  to  find  improvement  in  his  visage  at 
each  succeeding  one  ;  he  understands  how  much 
time  a  case  requires  for  its  consideration,  and  when 
to  interrupt  a  long-winded  client ;  he  can  enter- 
tain and  divert  an  impatient  visitor  to  perfection  ; 
he  can  be  the  most  polite  of  servants,  the  tenderest 
of  nurses,  and  the  sharpest  of  collectors,  as  the  cir- 
cumstances demand  ;  and,  in  a  word,  there  does 
not  live  a  luan  who  plays  his  appointed  role  in 
life  with  greater  tact  and  judgment  than  my 
faithful  office  boy,  William  Hughes.  Though  a 
neo:ro,  and  bnlv  wdth  such  an  education   as  he  has 


*^  picked  up  "  in  my  house,  he  has  the  manners  and 
the  appearance  of  a  gentleman — and  he  is  one,  if 
fidelity  to  duty,  incorruptible  honesty,  scrupulous 
neatness  of  person  and  the  kindest  of  hearts  entitle 
a  man  to  be  so  regarded.  His  devotion  to  me, 
regard  for  my  feelings,  respect  for  my  opinions, 
interest  in  my  business,  and  desire  to  promote  my 
€omfort  and  happiness  are  something  phenomenal ; 
€ind,  I  can  say  with  truth,  that  he  has  been  the 
most  patient,  loyal  and  consistent  friend  that  I 
have  had  in  life. 

On  two  occasions  he  concluded  to  leave  my  ser- 
vice, but  s-ignally  failed  in  each  attempt.  In  one 
instance,  his  health  becoming  bad,  he  concluded  to 
try  the  efficacy  of  a  change  of  air,  and  took  the  posi- 
tion of  chief  steward  on  a  river  steamer.  He  had 
only  made  a  few  trips,  however,  when  he  chanced 
to  find  a  terrapin  crawling  on  the  shore,  and  cap- 
turing it,  he  brought  it  in  triumph  to  Baltimore, 
and  hurried  to  my  house  to  present  it  to  my  little 
boy — never  giving  a  thought  to  his  steamer  again. 

Again,  having  fallen  desperately  in  love,  he  fol- 
lowed the  object  of  his  affections  to  New  York, 
where  he  took  service  as  a  waiter  in  a  boarding- 
house.  A  short  time  after  his  departure  I  had  oc- 
casion to  write  to  him  in  order  to  ascertain  where 
he  had  left  a  set  of  harness  for  repair,  and  a  day 
or  two  afterward  I  was  surprised  when  I  opened 
my  eyes  in  the  morning  to  see  William  moving 
stealthily  about  the  room,  engaged  in  arranging 
my  clothes  as  usual.  '^Halloa,  William,"  I  cried 
out ;  "  what  are  you  doing  in  Baltimore?"  "Oh, 
sir  !  "  he  answ^ered,  "  I  come  on  to  find  them  har- 
ness you  wrote  about,"  and  he  went  on  with  his 
w^ork  as  if  nothing  had  occurred  and  New  York 
had  no  existence. 

I  learned  subsequently  that  when  the  servants 


questioned  him  in  regard  to  his  return,  he  said : 
'' Well,  folks.  New  York  is  the  nicest  sort  of  a 
place,  and  the  people  were  mighty  friendly  to  me. 
hut  I  felt  so  lonesome  without  the  doctor  and  the 
children  that  I  could  not  stand  it  and  I  just  packed 
up  and  come  home  again." 

He  is  one  of  the  few  ^'  Democratic  "  darkeys  that 
I  have  ever  met  with — not  through  any  influence 
that  I  have  exerted  upon  him,  but,  apparently,  be- 
cause the  war  rather  diminished  the  dignity  of 
his  family  by  so  largely  augmenting  the  number  of 

A  grand  functionary  of  the  United  States  once 
came  up  to  him,  and  patting  him  on  the  shoulder, 
said:  "  Ah,  William,  we  Republicans  are  your 
friends,  and  you  ought  to  love  us  dearly.  We  set 
you  all  free."  ''Not  at  all,  sir,"  said  he  ;  "you 
Republicans  did  nothing  for  me,  you  only  set  my 
darkeys  free" — a  remark  which  surprised  and 
silenced  the  politician,  as  you  can  well  imagine. 

He  is  naturally  of  a  peaceable  disposition,  but 
he  can  brook  no  insult  to  me,  and  he  has  had 
several  difficulties  on  that  account. 

On  one  occasion  the  guard  on  duty  at  the  prin- 
cipal gate  of  the  Cairo  Citadel'*'  failed  to  salute  me 
as  we  drove  through  it  en  route  to  my  office.  In  a 
moment  William  called  to  the  syce — the  avant 
courier,  who,  in  Eastern  lands,  runs  before  the  car- 
riage of  every  personage  to  clear  the  way,  and  an- 
nounce his  master's  title,  etc. — ordered  him  to 
stand  before  the  horses,  and  proceeded  to  give  the 
offending  soldier,  armed  as  he  was,  a  sound  thrash- 
ing with  his  whip.  In  the  midst  of  the  melee 
Ratib  Pasha,  the  commander-in-chief,  rode  up, 
and   threatened  William   with   his  sword,  at  the 

*See  Appendix  (B). 


same  time  abusing  him  most  savagely.  To  my 
horror,  William  turned  upon  him,  and  asserting 
his  American  citizenship^  declared  that  he  should 
he  treated  to  a  similar  punishment  if  he  dared 
again  to  open  his  lips.  The  Pasha  gazed  at  him 
for  a  moment  with  speechless  amazement,  and  then, 
true  to  the  instincts  of  his  pusillanimous  nature, 
put  spurs  to  his  horse,  and  dashed  off  as  if  the 
devil  was  after  him.  The  scene  was  ludicrous 
beyond  expression,  but  it  was  only  after  several 
anxious  nights  that  I  slept  soundly  again,  because 
of  the  constant  expectation  of  an  order  sending  me 
to  Central  Africa  or  dismissing  me  from  the  ser- 
vice, as  I  well  knew  the  vindictive  character  of 
the  man  with  whom  I  had  to  deal.  For  some  in- 
comprehensible reason  the  order  did  not  arrive,  but 
in  place  of  it  there  came,  a  few  days  afterward,  an 
invitation  to  a  feast,  which  the  generalissimo  had 
given  in  honor  of  his  marriage.  Ratib  is  the  in- 
dividual who  subsequently  figured  so  ingloriously 
in  the  Abyssinian  campaign,  causing  by  his  ob- 
stinacy and  cowardice — according  to  General  Lor- 
ing — the  destruction  of  the  greater  part  of  the 
Egyptian  army,  and  having  been  found  in  the 
midst  of  the  attack  upon  the  fort,  in  which  the 
fugitives  from  the  ill-fated  field  had  taken  refuge, 
concealed  beneath  a  pile  of  Arab  bread,  so  para- 
lyzed by  fear  and  disfigured  with  dust  as  scarcely 
to  be  recognizable. 

From  William's  dark  complexion,  and  the  at- 
tention which  he  paid  to  his  dress,  the  natives  for 
a  long  time  took  him  to  be  a  eunuch,  and  treated 
him  with  all  the  deference  which  they  habitually 
accord  to  those  dilapidated  but  still  puissant 
specimens  of  humanity. 

By  his  own  imprudence,  however,  he  lost  his 
prestige  in  that  regard,  and  came  near  losing  his 
life  as  well. 

404  A  doctor's  experiences 

Prompted  by  his  inherent  love  of  displa}'  and  a 
'desire  to  outshine  the  English  coachman  kept  by 
:his  highness  for  grand  ceremonies,  he  arrayed 
liim^f  on  one  occasion  in  full  livery,  including  a 
iwb^ — which,  with  its  variegated  cockade  and  its 
glossy  eheen^  was  to  his  mind  the  j^erfection  of  ele- 
;gance — and  then  drove  up  the  Mouski,  the  princi- 
ipal  street  of  the  native  quarter.  Instead  of  receiv- 
ing the  ovation  which  he  expected^  he  soon  found 
himself  surrounded  by  a  crowd  of  infuriated  Mus- 
sulmans who,  with  cries  of  "'down  with  the  trait- 
or," "death  to  the  renegade,"  '^crucify  the  apos- 
tate," struck  at  him  with  clubs  and  swords,  pelted 
bim  with  everything  they  could  lay  their  hands 
3ipon,  and  attempted  to  drag  him  from  his  seat  in 
order  to  inflict  summary  punishment  upon  him  for 
ihaving  abandoned  his  religion  and  proclaimed  his 
a^ecantation  by  wearing  a  hat  in  the  public  streets. 
The  timely  arrival  of  a  squad  of  foreign  policemen 
alone  saved  his  life,  and  even  then  he  had  diffi- 
culty in  escaping  from  the  fanatical  rabble  and  in 
returning  to  my  house. 

Though  frightened  nearly  out  of  his  wits,  his 
anind  had  been  unable  to  conceive  a  motive  for  the 
(hostile  demonstration,  and  he  came  rushing  into 
my  office,  still  arrayed  in  his  liveried  splendor,  to 
give  me  a  history  of  his  adventure,  and  to  ask  the 
meaning  of  the  attack  upon  him. 

"  My  God,  Doctor,  they  tried  to  kill  me!  They 
kept  pointing  at  my  nice  new  hat  and  crying, 
■^ nooser  ani'  and'  'ehiiu  el  kelp,'  all  the  time. 
Oan't  an  American  wear  a  hat  in  this  country  as 
well  as  a  Britisher?  'Fore  Grod,  they  never  saw  a 
finer  one.     What  does  it  all  mean^  anyhow?" 

'^  Why,  William,   it    is    as   plain    as  daylight. 

"^i^ee  Apj)endix  (C). 


From  the  color  of  your  skin  they  have  always^ 
taken  you  for  a  Mohammedanj  and  a  eunuch  at 
that,  and  seeing  that  you  had  abandoned  your 
tarbouche  and  put  on  a  hat,  they  thought  you  had 
changed  your  religion  and  become  a  Christian." 

"Is  that  it?  What  a  set  of  cussed  fools  !  Ketch 
me  wearing  a  hat  again  while  I  am  in  Egypt  ;  hut 
that  is  a  nice  hat,  Doctor." 

''I'll  make  that  all  right,  old  fellow.  You^ 
bought  it  on  my  account  and  I  will  pay  for  it;  but 
the  thing  that  grieves  me  most  is  that  they  will 
never  take  you  for  a  eunuch  again,  and  you  will  not 
be  regarded  as  so  much  of  a  great  man  hereafter." 

For  many  a  day  afterward,  as  we  drove  over  the 
scene  of  the  conflict,  William's  countenance  wore: 
an  uneasy  expression,  and  I  observed  many  a  look 
of  hatred  leveled  after  us,  but  no  further  violence- 
was  attempted,  and  save  in  the  loss  of  his  prestige 
my  faithful  servant  suffered  no  detriment. 

In  explanation  of  the  indignation  excited  by 
William's  unfortunate  hat,  I  must  say  that  the- 
tarbouche  or  the  turban  is  de  rigueur  with  all  true- 
followers  of  the  Prophet,  while  every  other  cover- 
ing for  the  head  is  regarded  as  a  token  of  unbelief 
or  of  apostasy.  Hence  it  was  that  every  foreign 
officer  in  the  Khedive's  service  was  required  to- 
wear  a  fez  or  tarbouche,  in  order  to  avoid  remark 
and  discussion  on  the  part  of  the  natives. 

It  is  a  singular  circumstance  that  a  covering  for 
the  head  which  affords  no  protection  to  the  eyes,. 
either  against  the  rays  of  the  sun  or  the  glare  and 
dust  of  the  desert,  should  be  adopted  by  a  country 
in  which  ophthalmia  is  the  prevailing  disease. 

During  the  summer  months  that  affection  is  al- 
most universal  among  children  under  ten  years  of 
age,  and  the  proportion  of  blind  or  partially  blind 
men  is  about  one  in  twenty  of  the  population. 


Though  produced  originally  by  the  combined  ef- 
fects of  the  sun's  rays,  dust  and  vicissitudes  of 
temperature,  ophthalmia  is  a  contagious  disease — 
i.  e.,  is  reproducible  by  actual  contact — and  most' 
frequently  by  the  agency  of  the  flies  which  swarm 
in  that  country.  Believing  them  to  have  been 
sent  by  Allah,  (?)  the  natives  respect  them  accord- 
ingly, and  consider  it  sinful  to  brush  them  away  or 
in  any  manner  to  interfere  with  them. 

It  is  a  common  thing  to  see  the  faces  of  the  cliil- 
dren  covered  with  them — blackened  and  disfigured 
by  their  presence — and  while  Egyptian  mothers  show 
all  the  instincts  of  maternity  in  other  regards,  noth- 
inof  can  induce  them  to  raise  their  hands  ao;ainst 
these  insects.  Flies  thus  become  agents  for  the 
transportation  of  the  virus  of  ophthalmia  and  the 
principal  instruments  of  its  propagation. 

As  a  matter  of  pure  humanity  I  opened  a  dis- 
pensary for  the  treatment  of  ophthalmia  among  the 
soldiers  and  their  families,  and  though  hundreds 
presented  themselves  daily,  I  could  accomplish  but 
little  toward  their  relief,  for  the  reason  that  my  in- 
junctions in  this  regard  were  invariablj"  disregarded. 
They  were  willing  to  take  any  amount -of  medicine, 
and  to  submit  to  whatever  I  proposed  in  the  way 
of  applications  or  of  oj^erations,  but  they  perferred 
to  suffer  pain  or  to  incur  the  risk  of  blindness  rather 
than  insult  the  Lord  by  interfering  with  His  agents 
and  ministers — the  flies   which  infest  the  country. 

Whether  I  should  have  succeeded  ultimately  in 
eradicating  this  superstitious  prejudice,  I  can  not 
say,  for  after  an  experience  of  two  weeks  in  the 
Dowhadish,  and  in  spite  of  every  possible  precau- 
tion to  guard  against  contagion,  I  was  attacked 
with  ophthalmia,  and  I  am  to-day  a  sufferer  from  its 
consequences.  William  assisted  me  in  this  work, 
and  though  he  laughed  incredulously  when  enjoined 



to  caution  in  dealing  with  my  patients, lie  too  fella 
victim  a  short  time  afterward.  The  negro  has  no 
fortitude  of  character,  and  he  hecomes  immediately 
demoralized  when  called  upon  to  suffer  either 
physically  or  mentally.  Having  just  passed 
through  the  same  ordeal,  I  appreciated  fully  his 
meaning  when  he  spoke  of  the  'Hiot  iron  which  was 
boring  through  his  eye  and  burning  his  brain," 
and  yet  there  was  a  ludicrousness  about  his  pro- 
ceedings which  elicited  a  smile  as  I  sympathized 
with  his  sufferings  and  sought  to  minister  to  their 

Though  the  thermometer  was  above  100°,  he 
wrapped  a  woolen  comforter  about  his  head,  en- 
veloped his  body  with  blankets,  and  alternately 
shrieked,  sang  camp-meeting  hymns,  prayed  de- 
voutly, and  called  for  his  ''mammy"  by  day  and 
night  for  nearly  two  entire  weeks.  Indeed,  he 
aroused  the  whole  neighborhood,  and  frightened 
the  contiguous  Arabs  and  Levantines  almost  out  of 
their  lives,  while  my  own  family  was  kept  in  a 
■state  of  mortal  terror  during  the  entire  period  of  his 
illness.  I  was  compelled  to  give  him  morphia  hy- 
podermically  and  in  large  quantities  to  render  life 
tolerable  to  him,  and  to  keep  him  from  expiring 
from  pain  and  fright. 

On  several  occasions  during  his  residence  in 
Paris  he  has  experienced  the  same  agony  from  a 
return  of  the  disease  and  has  gone  through  similar 
performances — though  fortunately  not  on  so  gigan- 
tic a  scale — to  the  wonder  of  my  neighbors  and  the 
consternation  of  my  household. 

Is  it  not  .a  strange  circumstance  that  a  man  of 
good  sense,  of  an  abundance  of  physical  courage, 
and  of  considerable  pride  of  character  should  be- 
come thus  demoralized  and  irresponsible  under  the 
influence  of  pain,  and  at   the   bare    possibility  of 

4*08   ■.  A  doctor's  experiences 

death  ?  And  yet  lie  is  but  the  type  of  his  race  in 
this  regard — he  is  a  negro  au  fond  notwithstand- 
ing his  many  admirable  qualities,  his  long  associa- 
tion with  white  men,  and  his  varied  experiences  of 
the  world.  I  mention  this  in  no  disparagement  of 
my  good  friend  and  faithful  servant,  but  simply  as 
a  practical  demonstration  of  the  difficulty  of  eradi- 
cating the  peculiarities  by  which  the  different  races 
are  distinguished  from  one  another. 

I  have  been  struck  very  forcibly  with  the  facility 
with  which  William  has  picked  up  the  languages- 
of  the  various  countries  in  wdiich  he  has  lived.  He 
is  a  man  of  but  limited  education,  and  yet  he  had 
not  lived  three  months  in  Cairo  before  he  had  ac- 
quired enough  of  the  Arab  tongue — a  most  difficult 
one  to  learn  by  any  process — to  understand  what 
was  said  to  him,  and  to  make  his  wants  known  ; 
and  he  finally  mastered  it  sufficiently  to  be  taken 
for  a  native  by  the  people  of  the  country.  We  all 
devoted  ourselves  to  the  study  of  Arabic,  but  with 
the  exception  of  my  eldest  daughter,  who  speaks  it 
with  great  fluency,  we  never  got  to  the  point  of 
framing  sentences  or  of  maintaining  a  connected 
conversation  ;  while  this  comparatively  uneducated 
man,  trusting  to  his  ear  alone,  soon  learned  to 
speak  it  as  glibly  as  if  he  had  been  born  and  raised 
in  the  country.  Of  course,  my  younger  children 
learned  it  from  their  nurses,  and  it  was  to  them 
virtually  a  mother  tongue. 

With  the  exception  of  Colonel  Chaille  Long,  the 
distinguished  Central  African  explorer,  I  do  not 
know  an  American  officer  who  learned  to  speak 
Arabic  with  any  approach  to  fluency.  General 
Loring,  the  scholar  of  the  commission,  studied  it 
with  great  zeal  and  diligence,  but  he  was  compelled 
to  rely  upon  an  interpreter  to  the  last,  although  he 


made  himself  a  master  of  its  grammar  and  diction- 

I  have  not  seen  Colonel  Mason  for  several  years, 
but,  as  he  has  lived  for  a  long  time  where  Arabic 
is  exclusively  spoken,  and  is  a  man  of  superior 
mind  and  education,  I  suppose  that  he  speaks  it 
like  a  native. 

William  also  acquired  French  readily,  and, 
though  for  a  long  time  his  grammar  was  rather 
mixed,  and  his  pronunciation  decidedly  Ethiopian, 
he  has  become  tout  a  fait  Francaise,  and  gets  along 
as  well  as  any  man  in  the  colony.  Certainly  there 
is  not  a  shrug  or  a  grimace  with  which  he  is  un- 
familiar, and  he  amply  makes  up  by  his  proficiency 
in  this  respect  for  any  deficiency  in  words  and 

The  longer  a  man  resides  in  a  country  the  less  pro- 
ficient does  he  really  find  himself  in  its  language,  or, 
in  other  words,  the  more  he  knows  the  more  does  he 
find thatthereistoknow.  Itisonlythe  ''newcomer" 
with  the  barest  smattering  of  French,  who  will 
tell  you  that  he  "  speaks  like  a  Frenchman,"  be- 
lieving that  the  ability  to  parade  a  few  set  phrases 
and  to  make  his  wants  known  comprises  a  thor- 
ough knowledge  of  the  language. 

The  French  themselves  are  mainly  responsible 
for  this  egotistical  delusion .  "il/ai^,  3Ionsieur,  vous 
parlez  bien,  parfaitement  Men,''  is  the  staple  compli- 
ment with  which  a  ''fresh  arrival"  is  greeted  on 
all  sides  from  the  first  moment  that  he  sets  foot  in 
the  country.  The  bait  is  swallowed  eagerly,  as  a 
general  rule,  as  many  a  hotel  director^  shop-keeper 
and  professional  quack  finds  by  counting  his  gains 
when  "the  innocent"  has  departed — to  mourn  after- 
ward over  the  depleted  pockets  which  his  profi- 
ciency as  a  linguist  has  cost  him. 

I  was  greatly  amused  recently  by  a  conversation 

410  A  doctor's  experiences 

between  a  friend  of  mine  and  a  sliop-keeper  of  the 
Rue  de  la  Paix.  Notwithstanding  that  he  has 
lived  in  the  country  for  manj^  years  and  prides 
himself  on  the  knowledge  of  the  language,  his 
French  is  simply  an  incomprehensible  jargon.  Hav- 
ing been  absent  from  Paris  for  some  time  he  saun- 
tered into  a  shop  on  his  return  and  renewed  his 
acquaintance  with  its  proprietor  over  a  pair  of 
gloves  that  he  desired  to  purchase.  After  address- 
ing several  remarks  to  the  merchant  in  what  he 
conceived  to  be  French,  he  essayed  to  extract  a 
compliment  from  him  in  regard  to  the  fluency  with 
which  he  spoke  the  language.  The  Frenchman 
pretended  not  to  see  the  point.  He  praised  his 
gloves  ;  he  talked  about  the  weather  ;  he  inquired 
after  my  friend's  health  ;  he  told  a  piquant  little 
anecdote  cqjroj^os  to  nothing,  but  he  avoided  the 
expected  compliment  altogether.  ''  3Iais,  3Iushur, 
vou  non  coiivprond.  Je  hai  pari  de  mon  Francaise. 
Je  pari  perfet ,  maintnoiv^  n  est  pas  f" 

^'Oui,  Monsieur,  vous  parlez — vous  parlez — vous 
parlez — mieux" — the  ''Men'  which  he  essayed  to 
utter,  and  my  friend  so  confidently  expected  to 
hear,  being  too  much  for  his  conscience,  seared  and 
hardened  as  it  was  by  twenty  years  of  dealing  with 
foreigners  in  the  Hue  de  la  Paix.  My  friend's  in- 
dignation knew  no  bounds,  for  he  saw  the  French- 
man's difficulty,  and,  turning  to  me^  he  said : 
^' This  man  is  a  natural-born  fool.  He  does  not 
appreciate  his  own  language  when  it  is  properly 
spoken.  I  shall  trade  at  some  other  shop  here- 
after," and  he  left  the  place  in  hopeless  disgust. 

I  am  sure  the  Frenchman  will  never  hesitate  be- 
tween mieux  and  Men  again,  for,  realizing  that  his 
conscientiousness  has  cost  him  a  client,  he  will  be 
as  polite  as  the  rest  of  his  countrymen  for  the  future, 
you  may  depend  upon  it. 





My  Dear  Doctor  : 

I  sailed  from  New  York  on  the  2d  day  of  April, 
1873.  on  the  steamer  ''  Abyssinia,"  of  the  Cunard 
line,  in  company  with  General  E.  E.  Colston,  who 
had  also  accepted  a  position  in  the  Egyptian  Army, 
and  whose  subsequent  services  were  well  appreciated 
and  rewarded  by  the  Khedive. 

Our  departure  was  not  an  auspicious  one,  as  the 
papers  of  that  morning  contained  the  first  intelli- 
gence of  the  loss  of  the  steamer  ^'  Atlantic  ;"  and 
the  last  sound  that  we  heard  from  the  shore  was 
the  cry  of  the  news-boys  announcing  ^' A  terrible 
shipwreck !  "  ''  The  loss  of  several  hundred  lives," 

As  in  nearly  every  instance  of  disaster  at  sea,  the 
cause  can  be  traced  to  criminal  negligence,  the  best 
time  for  sailing  is  just  after  such  a  calamity,  as  the 
officers  are  thus  stimulated  to  unusual  care  in  the 
navigation  of  the  ship  and  in  everything  relating 
to  their  duties. 

It  is  far  from  agreeable,  nevertheless,  to  have 
one's  ears  saluted,  at  the  last  moment,  by  the  tid- 
ings of  so  dreadful  an  accident,  and  for  several 
days  its  effect  could  be  seen  in  the  pallid  counte- 
nances and  serious  mien  of  all  on  board. 

As  the  weather  was  fine,  the  ship  staunch,  and 
the  officers  unusually  attentive  to  their  duties,  the 
gloom  among  the  passengers  gradually  disappeared. 

412  A  doctor's  experiences 

and  we  had  a  remarkably  cheerful  and  pleasant 

Having  failed  to  make  the  tide  at  the  bar  of  the 
Mersey,  we  were  transported  thence  to  Liverpool  in 
a  small  tug,  and  as  a  result,  I  contracted  a  severe 
cohl,  which  confined  me  to  bed  for  several  days 
after  my  arrival  at  the  Northwestern  Hotel. 

Few  things  in  life  are  more  disagreeable  than 
to  be  sick  in  a  hotel.  Such  establishments  are 
made  for  well  people — for  those  who  are  in  a  con- 
dition to  spend  money  freely  and  to  give  the  mini- 
mum of  trouble. 

Sickness  is  resented  as  a  gratuitous  insult,  and 
an  invalid  usually  receives  about  as  much  con- 
sideration as  he  might  expect  in  the  hut  of  a  Hot- 
tentot. But  for  William's  assiduous  attentions  I 
should  have  fared  badly  indeed,  for  circumlocution 
was  the  order  of  the  day,  and  everything  that  I 
required  and  asked  for  was  ''  against  the  rules  of 
the  house." 

However,  under  the  judicious  use  of  remedies,  the 
threatening  pneumonia  was  transformed  into  a 
mild  bronchitis,  and  I  was  soon  able  to  bid  adieu 
to  the  Northwestern,  and  to  journey  on  to  London. 

After  William  had  watched  at  my  bedside  for  a 
day  or  two,  I  insisted  that  he  should  go  out  and 
see  the  city.  He  was  absent  for  several  hours,  and 
returned  with  his  mind  filled  with  the  astounding 
fact  that  ^'  everybody  spoke  American  as  well  as  he 
did,"  and  the  circumstance  that  he  had  encountered 
a  band  of  negro  minstrels,  who  had  offered  him  a 
large  salary  to  join  them  and  to  go  "  starring  " — 
as  he  expressed  it — all  over  Europe.  More  than 
half  of  the  company,  it  seemed,  were  white  men, 
and  they  desired  the  addition  of  more  genuine 
African  blood  in  order  to  make  their  enterprise  a 
success.     He  refuted  their  proposition  at  once,  but 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  413 

tliey  became  so  importuDate  that  he  was  really  fear- 
ful lest  they  might  waylay  and  kidnap  him,  nolens 
nolens.  I  quieted  his  fears  as  best  I  could,  but 
warned  him  at  the  same  time  "to  keep  his  eyes 
open,"  for  I  felt  some  apprehension  on  the  subject 

William  did  not  venture  in  the  streets  again,  but 
he  several  times  pointed  out  his  importunate 
friends,  as  they  hung  about  the  hotel  hoping  to 
have  another  talk  with  him.  As  he  is  a  good-look- 
ing darkey,  possesses  a  fine  voice,  and  has  a  jle- 
cidedly  musical  turn,  he  would  have  proved  an 
invaluable  addition  to  their  troupe — would  have 
literally  coined  money  for  them  I  learned  after- 
ward that  they  visited  all  the  European  capitals, 
producing  a  sensation  everywhere,  and  returning 
home  with  heavier  pockets  than  they  had  started 
out  with. 

In  London  I  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  that 
splendid  gentleman  and  greg^t  surgeon,  Sir  James 
Paget,  to  whom  I  carried  letters  of  introduction 
from  Professors  Gross  and  Pancoast,  of  Philadel- 
phia. He  invited  me  to  his  house,  introduced 
me  to  his  family,  and  gave  me  a  letter  to  Mr. 
Fowler,  the  English  engineer,  then  employed  by 
the  Khedive  in  perfecting  the  great  works  of  in- 
ternal improvement  to  which  he  had  devoted  him- 
self. Sir  James  has  risen  by  the  force  of  his  genius 
and  character  to  the  most  commanding  professional 
position  in  England  ;  and  he  is,  at  the  same  time, 
the  very  type  of  a  finished  gentleman. 

Since  my  residence  in  Paris  I  have  renewed  my 
acquaintance  with  him,  and  I  am  proud  to  be  able 
to  number  him  among  the  truest  friends  I  have  made 
upon  this  side  of  the  jitlantic.  His  election  to  the 
presidency  of  the  International  Congress  of  1881 — 
to  which  I  had  the  honor  of  being  a  delegate — is 

414  A  doctor's  experiences 

an  evidence  of  the  estimation  in  which  he  is^  held 
by  the  medical  profession  of  the  world,  and  the 
able  and  eloquent  address  which  he  delivered  on 
that  occasion  fully  justified  the  wisdom  of  his 
selection  for  so  distinguished  a  position. 

In  manner  and  appearance  he  reminds  me  ot" 
the  late  Wm.  B.  Kogers,  the  distinguished  Ameri- 
can scientist,  for  they  were  cast  in  the  same  heroic 
mold,  and  inherited  equally  the  attributes  of  genius. 

I  had  always  looked  forward  with  pleasure  to  a 
second  visit  to  Paris,  but  I  found  everything  about 
it  so  changed  by  the  hand  of  vandalism  that  the 
impression  produced  upon  my  mind  was  only  a 
painful  one.  I  had  known  the  city  in  its  days  of 
imperial  splendor — when  it  was  incomparably  gay, 
and  grand,  and  glorious,  and  I  found  it  draped  in 
mourning,  torn  b}^  internal  dissensions,  and  marred 
by  unsightly  ruins.  Between  the  Paris  of  '73  and 
that  of  '55  there  was  as  great  a  difference  as  between 
a  funeral  dirge  and  a  wedding  march — a  dilapi- 
dated brick  and  a  diamond  of  the  first  water. 
Everything  seemed  radically  and  hopelessly 
changed,  and  I  left  it  with  a  feeling  of  relief — a 
veritable  surcease  from  regret  and  disappointment. 

As  a  matter  of  economy,  we  traveled  from  Paris 
to  Brindisi  as  second-class  passengers,  which  neces- 
sitated a  halt  at  every  station,  as  well  as  innu- 
merable changes  of  trains.  As  we  spoke  scarcely 
a  word  of  Italian,  and  no  one  seemed  to  understand 
either  English  or  French,  it  has  always  been  a 
mystery  how  we  escaped  starvation  and  reached  our 
destination.  Bread  and  wine  were  the  only  arti- 
cles in  the  way  of  sustenance  that  our  knowledge 
of  Italian  permitted  us  to  ask  for,  and  we  only 
avoided  being  carried  in  wrong  directions  by  cry- 
ing out,  -'Brindisi!  Brindisi!  Brindisi!"  at  the 
top  of  our  voices,  whenever   the  train  came  to  a 



halt.  William's  black  skin  collected  a  crowd  at 
every  station,  and  our  frantic  efforts  to  keep  in  the 
direct  route  created  a  sensation  from  the  Alps  to 
the  Adriatic.  The  only  wonder  is  that  we 
were  not  arrested  as  lunatics,  for  I  am  sure  we 
were  taken  for  such  at  every  station  throughout 
the  entire  route. 

After  a  pleasant  voyage  of  four  days  over  a  wave- 
less  sea  and  beneath  cloudless  skies,  we  entered  the 
harbor  of  Alexandria,*  where  we  found  General 
and  Colonel  Reynolds — old  Confederates  and  dear 
friends — waiting  to  welcome  us,  and  bearing  a 
message  from  General  Loring  ''to  come  directly  to 

After  passing  through  the  custom-house  we  took 
a  carriage,  and  drove,  first  through  the  city,  and 
tliPM  about  a  mile  into  the  country,  to  the  General's 

He  gave  us  a  cordial  welcome,  and  bade  us  make 
ourselves  at  home  in  Gabara.  This  palace  had  been 
one  of  the  favorite  summer  homes  of  Said  Pasha^f 
the  former  Khedive  of  Egypt,  and  I  can  well  under- 
stand his  partiality  for  it.  It  is  built  in  the  East- 
ern style,  only  one  story  in  height,  with  a  rectangu- 
lar central  building,  and  a  wing  on  either  side — 
one  for  the  selamlik  and  the  other  for  the  hareem. 
Its  interior  is  gorgeous  with  mirrors,  marble  floors, 
panels  of  porphyry,  mosaics,  divans,  carpets,  and 
all  that  can  be  conceived  of  oriental  luxury  ;  while  a 
large  veranda  occupies  its  entire  front,  and  a  spa- 
cious garden  lies  behind  it,  filled  with  murmuring 
fountains,  luscious  fruit  and  fragrant  flowers. 

The  approach  to  it  is  through  a  spacious  avenue 
skirted  with  mimosas,  which  unite  in  a  canopy 
above,  and  embower  it   in  perpetual  shade  ;    and 

See  Appendix  (D).  fSee  Appendix  (E). 


spreading  around  it  in  ever}^  direction  are  large 
fields  devoted  to  the  cultivation  of  the  date,  the 
orange,  the  fig,  and  the  almond.  It  is  impossible 
to  conceive  of  a  lovelier  spot,  and  one  is  reminded 
at  every  turn  of  the  stories  of  the  Arabian  Nights, 
and  feels  as  if  he  v^^ere  really  in  fairy  land. 

This  palace  had  been  assigned  to  G-eneral  Loring 
as  his  quarters  when  he  was  placed  in  command  of 
Alexandria,  and  he  lived  there  in  princely  elegance, 
with  the  two  Reynolds — his  aides-de-camp — and 
their  families. 

We  received  a  cordial  welcome,  but  found  it  difii- 
cult  to  sleep  on  accoant  of  the  excitement  incident 
to  our  arrival,  and  the  strange  emotions  inspired 
by  the  novelty  of  the  situation  and  the  magnifi- 
cence of  the  objects  around  us. 

We  took  the  train  at  eight  o'clock  on  the  succeed- 
ing morning,  and  reached  Cairo*  in  six  hours  and 
a  half,  the  journey  having  proved  an  exceedingly 
interesting  one,  because  of  the  strange  sights  and 
interesting  associations  which  presented  themselves 
on  every  side. 

We  reached  Cairo  in  the  midst  of  what  is  known 
as  a  ^^  hhampseen/'  a  wind  which  blows  from  the 
south,  and  brings  with  it  the  dust  and  the  heat 
of  the  desert.  There  is  no  spring-time  in  Egypt, 
but,  from  the  1st  of  April  until  about  the  20th  of 
May,  a  period  of  fifty  days,  this  wind  prevails, 
giving  one  a  foretaste  of  the  infernal.  Khamjose  is 
the  Arabic  word  for  fifty,  and  the  wind  which  blows 
from  the  desert  during  this  period  of  fifty  days  is 
called  the  ^^khampseen."  After  this  most  disa- 
greeable season  the  direction  of  the  wind  changes, 
coming  from  the  north,  especially  after  sunset,  and 
renderins:  the  niorhts  cool  and  refreshinoj. 

*See  Appendix  (F). 


During  these  storms  the  natives  retire  to  their 
liouses  and  carefully  close  their  doors  and  win- 
dows, so  as  to  keep  out  the  dust  and  heat,  and, 
when  compelled  to  breast  them,  they  cover  their 
heads  and  faces  with  blankets,  just  as  the  inhabi- 
tants of  colder  regions  do  to  protect  themselves 
against  the  blasts  of  Boreas. 

As  I  before  informed  you,  a  storm  of  this  kind 
prevailed  Avhen  we  reached  Cairo.  The  air  was 
loaded  with  dense  clouds  of  dust  ;  a  wind  was 
blowing  from  the  desert  which  felt  like  the  breath 
of  a  furnace  ;  and,  from  the  debilitating  influences 
•of  an  atmosphere  alike  deficient  in  oxygen,  filled 
with  impalpable  particles  of  sand,  and  heated  above 
the  blood-range,  a  feeling  of  nervous  prostration 
"was  produced  which  seemed  scarcely  supportable. 
I  felt  as  if  I  had  been  translated  to  tlie  lower  re- 
gions, and  bitterly  regretted  ever  having  thought 
of  Egypt. 

Seeking,  however,  the  shelter  of  the  New  Hotel, 
I  retired  to  my  room,  threw  off  my  clothes,  called 
for  a  plentiful  supply  of  artificial  ice  and  palm-leaf 
fans,  and  made  myself  as  comfortable  as  circum- 
stances would  allow  until  the  storm  had  spent  itself. 

This  wind  is  not  the  '■''  simoon,''  as  some  sup- 
pose. Tlie  ^'khamj^seen"  usually  prevails  for  about 
three  days,  brings  with  it  a  temperature  of  95°, 
and  is  laden  with  the  impalpable  dust  of  the  des- 
ert, while  the  "simoon"  usually  blows  for  about 
twenty  minutes  only,  raises  the  thermometer  to 
100°,  and  is  attended  by  clouds  composed  princi- 
pally of  sand. 

The  climate  of  Egypt  during  the  greater  part  of 
the  year  is  remarkably  salubrious  and  healthy. 
The  general  height  of  the  thermometer  in  the  win- 
ter is  from  50°  to  60° — in  the  afternoons — in  the 
^hade.  I  never  saw  but  one  rain  at  Cairo,  and, 

418  A  doctor's  experiexces 

though  it  was  only  a  passing  shower,  the  natives 
regarded  it  as  a  deluge.  Consumption  is  a  com- 
mon disease  among  the  blacks  from  the  interior 
of  Africa,  the  climate  being  so  much  colder  than 
that  in  which  they  have  been  reared. 

Everything  about  Egypt  is  so  peculiar  that  a 
stranger  feels  on  his  first  arrival  as  if  he  had  lost 
his  identity,  and  had  been  wafted  to  another  sphere. 
Its  ideas  and  customs  are  generally  directly  antip- 
odal of  those  of  other  lands  in  all  regards. 

The  people  of  Egypt  are  ultra  religious,*  as  they 
understand  the  matter.  They  have  absolute  faith 
alike  in  the  existence  of  a  God,  and  in  His  direct 
intervention  in  the  affairs  of  life.  They  do  every- 
thing, in  fact,  in  the  name  of  Allah,  and  follow 
with  blind  obedience  the  teachings  of  Mohanaet  as^ 
recorded  in  the  Koran. 

Although  the  heaven  of  the  Koran  is  peopled 
with  Houris — seventy-two  of  whom  minister  to 
each  one  of  the  elect,  women  are  virtually  ex- 
cluded from  the  religion  of  el  golam.  Instead, 
therefore,  of  spending  their  lives  in  prayer  and 
pilgrimage^  they  occupy  themselves  with  paying^ 
visits,  painting  their  persons,  drinking  coffee,  eat- 
ing sweetmeats,  rehearsing  the  tales  of  the  Ara- 
bian Nights,  talking  scandal,  and  planning  in- 
trigues of  every  possible  description. 

In  some  rare  instances  they  affect  religious 
fervor,  and  devote  themselves  to  a  great  parade  of 
self-sacrifice,  prayer-making  and  almsgiving,  but 
always  with  the  conviction  that  their  chances  of 
the  "better  land"  are  doubtful  at  best,  and  that 
their  only  hope  is  in  the  direct  intervention  of  the 

Of  course,  I  refer  to  the  x4rabs  proper,  for  the 
Copts, t  who  compose  a  considerable  portion  of  the- 

*See  Appendix  (G).  fSee  Appendix  (H). 


population,  are  ChristianSj  although  in  other  re- 
spects no  differences  are  discoverable  between 
them  and  their  neighbors.  It  is  a  remarkable 
circumstance  that  these  two  classes,  Arabs  and 
Copts,  should  have  lived  so  long  together,  with  the 
same  laws  and  similar  habitudes,  without  having 
amalgamated,  and  yet  they  remain  as  distinctly 
separated  as  the  Jews  and  the  Christians  of  other 

A  missionary  establishment  has  existed  in  Cairo> 
for  a  number  of  years,  under  the  direction  of  men 
of  ability  and  great  religious  zeal,  and  yet  I  have 
never  heard  of  the  conversion  of  but  one  Moham- 
medan to  the  Christian  faith,  and  that  was  effected 
by  other  influence  than  theirs.  The  ministrations 
of  the  missionaries  have,  however,  prospered 
among  the  Copts,  for,  though  professedly  believers 
in  the  divinity  of  Christ,  their  religion  had  be- 
come only  another  name  for  idolatry  and  super- 
stition, and  they  greatly  needed  the  teaching  and 
the  example  of  such  men  as  Drs.  Lansing  and 

The  convert  to  whom  I  refer  is  a  young  man  by 
the  name  of  Achmed  Fahmy,  who  for  a  long  time 
was  attached  to  me  as  an  official  interpreter.  He 
soon  established  friendly  relations  with  my  house- 
hold, and  as  he  was  a  devout  Mussulman,  he  set 
himself  diligently  to  work  to  convert  William.  The 
latter  was  a  staunch  Methodist  at  the  time,  and 
the  arguments  between  the  two  were  as  intermin- 
able as  they  were  animated  and  amusing.  One 
day  I  overheard  William  say  to  him  :  ^'Now^ 
Achmed,  I  want  to  ask  you  a  question,  and  you 
must  answer  it  truly.  What  do  you  think  will 
become  of  the  Doctor  when  he  is  dead  and  gone?'^ 

"  Why,  it  is  as  plain  as  daylight.  He  is  an  un- 
believer, and   the   Prophet  says,  '  All  who  refuse 

420  A  doctor's  experiences  . 

to  believe  in  me,  and  to  follow  me,  shall  be  pun- 
ished eternally.'  I  am  sorry  for  the  Doctor,  for  he 
has  been  like  a  father  to  me,  but  the  devil  will 
■surely  get  him.  That's  why  I  am  praying  for 
him  all  the  time,"  was  his  answer. 

"  Well,  just  see  here,  Achmed,"  exclaimed  Will- 
iam, ^'  if  you  are  such  a  tarnation  fool  as  to  believe 
such  devilish  doctrines  as  those,  I  am  done  with  you. 
I've  got  no  faith  in  you,  and  your  blasted  religion, 
neither."  But  they  continued  friends,  neverthe- 
less, and  went  on  with  their  arguments  uj)  to  the 
day  of  my  departure.  My  wife,  who  was  also  very 
fond  of  the  young  fellow,  occasionally  put  in  a 
word,  and  loaned  him  some  books  to  read,  in- 
cluding a  copy  of  the  New  Testament.  But  he 
gave  no  sign  of  yielding,  and  we  left  Egypt  be- 
lieving that  our  labor  had  been  lost,  and  that  he 
would  die,  as  he  had  lived,  a  devoted  follower  of 
the  Prophet. 

Some  five  or  six  years  afterward  one  of  my 
friends  was  about  to  visit  Egypt,  and  I  gave  him  a 
note  to  Achmed,  knowing  him  to  be  an  honest 
fellow  and  an  excellent  dragoman,  and  you  can 
judge  of  my  astonishment  when  I  received  in  reply 
the  subjoined  letter  : 

Cairo,  Uli  March,  1878. 
Dr.  Warren-Bey. 

My  Dear  Sir  :  After  presenting  you  my  best 
wishes  and  compdiments,  I  wish  to  tell  you  about 
a  very  wonderful  and  glorious  thing.  You  know 
that  I  was  a  very  strict  Mohammedan.  One  day, 
as  I  thought  proper  and  very  necessary  to  search 
for  the  true  religion,  I  found  that  Christianity  is 
the  true  one,  therefore,  I  embraced  it  six  months 
ago.  Indeed,  I  suffered  many  trials  and  persecu- 
tions  for    the   true    religion  of  God.     Had  I    not 

'  IN    THREE   CONTINENTS.  421 

taken  Dr.  Lansing's  house  as  my  refuge^  I  should 
have  been  put  to  death,  according  to  the  Moham- 
medan barbarous  law.  Now  I  am  as  a  prisoner  in 
Dr.  Lansing's,  unable  to  go  out  at  all,  because  my 
relations  and  the  Mohammedans  are  so  excited  and 
watching  over  me  all  the  time  ;  therefore,  I  was 
unable  to  go  out  with  General  L. 

I  wish  you  to  pray  for  me  that  I  may  be  strong 
enough  to  bear  such  trials  for  the  sake  of  my  Lord 
and  Saviour. 

Please  give  my  love  to  Mrs.  and  Misses  Warren. 
Your  most  sincere 


I  never  heard  of  him  afterward,  and  can  only 
hope  that  he  remained  true  to  the  faith  which  had 
thus  germinated  in  his  heart  from  the  seeds  that, 
we  were  instrumental  in  sowing  there. 

William  took  the  conversion  all  to  himself,  and 
rejoiced  over  it  exceedingly,  telling  me,  in  con- 
fidence, that  wath  a  little  more  "book  larning 
and  practice"  he  would  have  made  ''just  about  as 
good  a  preacher  as  any  of  them."  Most  white 
men  believe  that  they  are  natural-born  actors y 
while  every  darkey  regards  himself  as  a  preacher 
in  disguise. 

I  can't  refrain  from  telling  you  of  an  instance 
in  which  Achmed  translated  some  directions  of 
mine  to  a  patient,  vei^hatim  et  literatim,  and  with 
a  result  that  was  far  more  laughable  than  scientific, 
as  you  will  see. 

Having  been- called  to  an  Armenian  with  a  large 
nicer  on  his  head,  I  directed  him,  through  Achmed, 
to  shave  the  hair  from  its  margins,  and  to  keep  it 
covered  with  Jloicr  until  the  next  day,  when  I  would 
call  and  cauterize  it.  On  making  my  second  visit, 
I  found  the  patient  seated  in  state,  surrounded  by 

422  A  doctor's  experiences 

liis  astonished  neighbors,  with  the  hair  shaven 
from  his  entire  scalp,  and  a  crown  of  roses  encir- 
cling his  head — all  the  result  of  the  absolutely  lit- 
eral manner  in  Avhich  my  instructions  had  been 
construed  by  my  faithful  dragoman. 

The  Egyptians  are  an  amiable  and  docile  race, 
very  much  resembling  in  disposition  and  character 
the  American  negroes.  I  had  many  evidences  of 
their  kindliness,  but  not  one  which  impressed  me 
more  deeply  than  the  devotion  which  my  baby's 
nurse  manifested  when  the  dear  little  fellow  was 
.stricken  with  the  small-pox.  I  was  suffering  at 
the  time  with  ophthalmia,  and  having  so  little 
vision  remaining  that  I  could  scarcely  discern 
objects  around  me,  my  physician  kept  me  confined 
in  a  darkened  room,  with  my  eyes  covered  with 
warm  compresses.  I  was  informed  that  the  child 
was  covered  with  a  ^'curious  eruption"  and  had 
fever^  but  being  told  by  the  oculist  that  it  was  a 
•case  of  simple  varicella,  I  gave  no  serious  thought 
to  the  matter.  After  a  day  or  two  my  wife  said  to 
me,  "^^I  wish  you  could  examine  the  baby,  for 
he  is  evidently  very  ill,  and  the  eruption  gets  worse 
call  the  time."  ''  I  will  see  him  at  all  hazards,"  I 
said,  being  greatly  alarmed  and  apprehending  se- 
rious trouble.  Washing  my  eyes  thoroughly  with 
warm  water,  and  having  a  lamp  held  behind  me,  I 
anade  an  examination  of  the  child,  and  found  to 
my  consternation  that  he  was  suffering  with  con- 
fluent small-pox.  He  was  a  beautiful  boy,  and  I 
had  permitted  myself  to  believe  that  lie  had  been 
rsent  in  mercy  to  replace  my  first-born  son,  but  I 
realized  at  a  glance  that  he  was  doomed,  and  that 
our  still  bleeding  bosoms  were  to  be  lacerated  anew. 
It  was  a  hard  task  to  tell  his  mother  of  his  condi- 
tion, for  she.  too,  had  regarded  him   as  a  ^^  child 


of  consolation,"  and  had   lavished   upon  him  all 
the  idolatry  of  which  her  loving  nature  was  capable. 

Sorrow  reigned  in  my  house  that  day  and  for 
many  days  afterward.  The  disease  marched  with 
its  wonted  rapidity  and  violence,  and,  with  the  de- 
%^elopment  of  the  secondary  fever,  another  soul 
passed  through  "•  the  pearly  gates,"  and  two  hearts 
were  left  stricken  and  desolate. 

As  soon  as  I  discovered  the  real  nature  of  the 
■disease,  I  informed  his  Arab  nurse  of  his  condition 
and  of  her  danger,  and  told  her  that  I  could  not  be 
so  cruel  as  to  ask  her  to  remain  with  him  under  the 

Poor  Amoonah  was  broken-hearted,  not  for  her- 
self, but  for  him,  and,  declaring  that  she  was  '^will- 
ing to'die  for  the  tuallad/'  the  Arab  term  for  little 
boy,  she  held  him  in  her  arms  until  he  breathed  his 
last,  crying  over  him  as  if  her  heart  would  break, 
and  uttering  that  peculiar  wail*  with  which  an 
Eastern  mother  mourns  the  lossof  her  own  offspring. 
Although  she  and  the  other  members  of  the  family 
"were  not  vaccinated  until  several  days  after  the  ap- 
pearance of  the  eruption,  no  other  case  occurred, 
and  we  were  left  alone  with  our  sorrow  in  that  land 
of  strangers.  Surely,  no  severer  test  of  courage 
and  devotion  could  have  been  applied,  and  the  con- 
duct of  that  lowly  Arab  woman  was  simply  sublime, 
for  she  appreciated  the  risk;  she  was  free  to  go,  and 
we  were  Christians  and  aliens. 

The  excitement  and  grief  through  which  1  was 
thus  compelled  to  pass  increased  the  inflammation 
of  my  eyes,  and  for  more  than  six  weeks  I  lay  in  a 
darkened  chamber,  feeling  as  if  a  hot  iron  was  be- 
ing thrust  through  the  orbit  into  the  brain,  and 
oppressed  by  the  apprehension  of  permanent  blind- 

See  Appendix  (I). 

424  A  doctor's  experiexces 

ness.  Those  were  dark  days,  indeed,  and  the  re- 
membrance of.tliem  still  shadows  my  memory  like 
the  souvenirs  of  some  terrible  nightmare. 

But  for  the  fidelity  of  Dr.  Abatte — an  Italian 
physician  connected  with  the  Palace — and  the  un- 
tiring ministrations  of  my  wife  and  daughter,  I 
should  have  lost  my  vision  and  perhaps  my  life. 
Of  this  truly  good  man  I  shall  have  more  to  say 
anon,  for  he  proved  himself  a  true  friend  in  a  great 
emergency,  and  I  can  never  live  long  enough  to 
repyy  his  kindness. 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

The  word  liareeni^  means  a  man's  family,  and  the 
place  of  its  abode,  though  in  Eastern  lands  the  term 
covers  much  ground  and  includes  some  very  pecu- 
liar ideas.  Every  Mohammedan  is  entitled  to  four 
wives,  each  taking  rank  according  to  the  date  of  her 
marriage,  beginning  with  the  youngest,  and  all  be- 
ing virtually  the  slaves  of  their  husband.  In  many 
instances  wives  are  really  slaves,  having  been 
originally  purchased  and  never  having  been  en- 
franchised. In  this  way  they  may  become  the 
property  of  their  own  children  by  inheritance,  and 
they  have  been  sold  as  such  both  publicly  and  pri- 
vately in  Cairo.  Such  occurrences  are,  however, 
rare  in  Egypt,  for  filial  affection  predominates  there 
over  mercenary  considerations,  as  a  general  rule. 

The  Koran  teaches  reverence  for  parents  in  em- 
phatic terms,  and  promises  special  rewards  to  those 
who  manifest  love  and  kindliness  toward  the  mothers 
who  bore  them. 

Ismail  Pasha  set  a  noble  example  in  this  respect, 
as  he  made  it  the  mode  to  display  great  regard  and 
veneration  for  the  mothers  of  Egypt. 

He  surrounded  his  own  mother  with  the  insignia 
of  royalty,  treating  her  as  if  she  was  his  superior  in 

*See  Appendix  (J),  and  note  that  I  spell  the  word  pur- 
posely with  a  double  e  to  make  it  conform  with  its  pronun- 

426  A  doctor's  experiences 

rank,  and   exacting   from    his    subjects    an    equal 
measure  of  resj^ect  and  consideration  for  her. 

On  all  state  occasions  it  was  as  much  a  matter  of 
etiquette  to  call  on  her  as  on  him.  She  did  not  re- 
ceive in  person,  but  by  proxy,  her  representative 
being  an  old  eunuch,  who,  though  of  ebony  hue,  was 
a  man  of  fine  appearance,  and  of  the  most  courtly 
manners.  I  have  repeatedly  called  with  the  Khedi- 
val  Court  to  do  homage  to  the  '^  Queen-Mother,'' 
as  she  was  designated,  and  was  always  received  by 
her  eunuch,  who  did  the  honors  of  his  mistress's 
grand  establishment  with  an  ease  and  elegance 
which  would  have  done  credit  to  the  most  polished 
courtier  in  Europe.  The  Egyptian  officers  made  it 
a  point  to  hneel  and  kiss  hisJiaiid,  while  the  Ameri- 
cans limited  their  obeisance  to  shaking  hands  with 
him,  wishing  him  long  life  and  prosperity,  and 
drinking  a  cup  of  his  delicious  coffee.  As  the  chief 
eunuch  of  the  mother  of  the  Khedive  he  possessed 
great  power,  and  was  one  of  the  most  courted  and 
flattered  personages  in  Egypt, 

A  Mohammedan  has  no  trouble  in  getting  rid  of 
a  wife.  He  is  not  called  upon  to  invoke  the  ma- 
chinery of  a  court  of  law,  but  the  words  :  '^  I  divorce 
you,"  severs  the  bond  at  once  and  it  may  be  for 
ever.  The  wife  has  the  right  to  demand  then  a 
certain  sum  of  money,  her  original  dowry,  and  all 
of  her  children  within  certain  years,  but  she  77mst 
find  an  asylum  under  some  other  roof  than  his  at 
the  earliest  moment  possible. 

A  regularly-divorced  woman  cannot  re-marry 
her  original  husband  until  she  has  married  an- 
other, and  has  been  divorced  by  him,  as  I  dis- 
covered by  a  case  wl^iich  came  under  my  personal 

We  had  a  regular  American  reception  on  the 
first  day  of  January,  1874,  and  among  the  callers 



was  a  captain  of  the  staff,  who  became  gloriously 
drunk  on  champagne,  which  he  excused  himself 
for  drinking  by  laying  the  flattering  unction  to  his 
soul  that  "  it  had  been  invented  since  the  days  of 
the  Prophet  and  was  not,  therefore,  included  in  his 
injunction  against  the  use  of  wines." 

Returning  to  his  own  house  at  a  late  hour,  and 
finding  his  dinner  cold,  he  flew  into  a  violent  rage 
with  his  wife,  and,  carried  away  by  his  drunken 
frenzy,  he  pronounced  those  words  of  doom  and 
separation^  ''I  divorce  you,"  three  distinct  times, 
without  really  knowing  what  he  was  doing. 

Unfortunately  there  was  a  witness  present,  so 
that  when  he  awoke  on  the  succeeding  morning  he 
found  to  his  consternation  that  he  was  minus  a  wife 
and  child,  for  the  woman  had  left  the  house  to 
seek  the  protection  of  her  father's  roof.  The  poor 
fellow  was  utterly  heart-broken,  for  he  loved  his 
wife  and  idolized  his  baby,  a  little  girl  about  two 
years  of  age. 

He  immediately  sought  me  in  his  sorrow,  and, 
ignorant  of  the  law  on  the  subject,  I  advised  him 
to  apologize  and  remarry  her.  "But  where  shall 
1  find  the  man?"  he  exclaimed,  crying  like  a  child. 

"Find  the  man!     What  man?"   I  answered. 

"Find  a  man  to  marry  and  then  divorce  her 
for  me,"  he  said,  and  then  explained  the  require- 
ments of  the  Mussulman  law  when  the  fatal  words 
have  been  thrice  pronounced,  as  in  this  instance. 

I  could  do  nothing  for  him  under  the  circum- 
stances, and  I  saw  him  for  several  wrecks  after- 
ward moping  about  the  Citadel,  the  picture  of 
wretchedness  and  despondency.  After  awhile  he 
came  again  with  the  announcement  that  the  matter 
had  been  arranged  to  his  satisfaction,  that  he  had 
found  a   friend,    who,    for    a    consideration,    had 

428  A  doctor's  experiexces 

agreed  to  marry  and  divorce  his  wife,  according  to 
the  requirements  of  the  Koran. 

Some  days  afterward  he  sent  a  messenger  to  my 
house,  imploring  me  to  visit  him  at  the  earliest 
possible  moment,  "  as  he  was  very  ill  and  required 
professional  services."  I  found  him  in  bed,  with  a 
nervous  fever,  utterl\^  broken  down  physically  and 
morally.  ''  Oh!  Doctor,  there  is  no  friendship  in 
the  world,"  he  exclaimed,  ''  and  women  are  only 
devils  in  disguise." 

"But  what  is  the  matter?"  I  inquired. 

"  I  thought  I  had  arranged  everything,"  he 
sobbed  out,  '''but  it  has  all  gone  wrong,  and  it  will 
surely  kill  me.  So  much  for  disobeying  the  com- 
mands of  the  Prophet !  I  found  the  man  and  they 
were  married,  but  they  have  fallen  in  love  with 
each  other  and  he  refuses  to  divorce  her  according 
to  his  agreement.  I  have  lost  my  wife  and  my 
child  forever.  My  heart  is  broken,  I  shall  die,  if 
you  do  not  give  me  something  to  prevent  it." 

I  invoked  the  soothing  properties  of  the  bromide 
of  potassium,  and  left  him  to  his  reflections  on  the 
dangers  of  champagne,  the  inconstancy  of  women, 
and  the  unreliability  of  human  fi^iendship. 

In  about  a  month's  time  he  paid  me  another 
visit,  looking  as  smiling  as  possible,  and  as  proud 
as  Lucifer  himself. 

"Congratulate  me,"  he  said,  "for  it  is  all  ar- 
ranged, and  I  am  a  happy  man  once  more." 

"  So  your  wife  has  returned  to  you?" 

"  Not  at  all  ;  she  stuck  to  the  other  fellow,  and 
I  have  a  new  wife,  and  a  far  handsomer  one,  I 
assure  you.  Finding  myself  very  lonely,  I  bor- 
rowed the  money  and  bought  a  wife." 

"  Bought  a  wife  !      What  do  you  mean  ?" 

"  Yes,  I  went  to  Fatma,  the  lady  who  supplies 
the  Khedive's  hareera,  told  her  precisely  what  I 


wanted  and  how.  mucli  I  could  pa}^  and  she  sokl 
me  a  nice  Circassian  girl,  to  whom  I  was  married 
on  yesterday.  Don't  you  think  I  have  done  well? 
She  only  cost  me  five  hundred  francs^  and  I  find 
her  handsome  and  very  amiable.  I  think  I  shall 
love  her  child  as  much  as  the  one  I  have  lost, 
though  I  still  miss  little  Minta  dreadfully  at 

I  congratulated  him,  of  course,  as  I  was  pleased 
to  see  him  restored  to  health  and  happiness  after 
so  painful  an  adventure^  which,  unfortunately,  had 
its  inception  at  my  table. 

There  is  a  class. of  men  who  make  it  their  voca- 
tion to  marry  and  divorce  women  under  such  cir- 
cumstances. They  are  called  mitstohalls ,  and  are 
conspicuous  for  their  ugliness  or  deformity,  so  as 
to  give  no  apprehension  to  those  by  whom  they  are 
employed  of  a  denouement,  such  as  actually  oc- 
curred in  the  case  which  I  have  just  related. 
They  demand  always  a  handsome  dowry,  which 
they  retain  as  a  reward  for  their  services  in  thus 
filling  up  chasms  of  domestic  infelicity  by  bring- 
ing divorced  wives  and  repentant  husbands  to- 
gether again. 

The  wealthier  classes  sometimes  make  use  of  a 
slave  to  officiate  in  this  character,  and  the  blacker 
and  uglier  he  is,  the  more  he  is  in  request.  The 
marriage  takes  place  in  the  presence  of  witnesses, 
€i  dowry  is  given  to  legalize  it,  and  it  is  duly 
consummated,  so  that  the  slave  becomes  both 
de  jure  and  de  facto  the  husband  of  the  divorced 
woman.  The  slave  is  then  presented  to  her_,  and 
the  moment  that  .he  becomes  her  property  the  mar- 
riage is  i^^so  facto  dissolved,  and  she  is  free  to 
marry  her  original  spouse  or  whoever  she  pleases. 
My  friend  was  not  rich  enough  to  employ  a  miisto- 
hall  or  a  slave,  and  had  consequently  to  appeal  to 

430  A  doctor's  experiexces 

a  friend,  who  deceived  liim,  and  appropriated  his 
wife  in  the  bargain. 

I  came  near  being  the  cause  of  a  divorce  on  one 
occasion,  by  simply  doing  that  which  I  considered 
to  be  demanded  by  the  laws  of  common  politeness. 
I  was  sent  for  by  an  old  bey  of  wealth  and  influ- 
ence to  visit  the  youngest  of  his  four  wives — a 
hazel-eyed,  voluptuous-looking  Circassian — wha 
was  suffering  from  stomatitis,  produced  by  the  use 
of  hennaj  a  substance  in  common  use  among  the 
women  of  Egypt,  for  the  staining  of  their  nails, 
teeth,  the  soles  of  their  feet,  &c.  I  found  her 
seated  upon  a  divan,  covered  with  a  habarrah,'^  and, 
as  a  special  privilege,  I  was  permitted  to  introduce 
my  hand  beneath  its  folds,  and  to  feel  her  gums. 
Prescribing  to  the  best  of  my  ability  under  these 
disadvantageous  circumstances,  I  promised  to  re- 
turn in  a  few  days,  and  bowed  myself  out  of  the 

On  my  second  visit,  by  some  accident  I  left  my 
dragoman  at  home,  and  found  on  my  arrival  at  the 
Bey's  residence  that  its  master  was  absent.  The 
eunuch  received  me  very  graciously,  however,  and 
conducted  me  to  the  apartment  of  his  mistress^ 
where  I  found  the  patient  aw^aiting  me.  The  fair 
invalid  was  unusually  complaisant,  expressing 
much  pleasure  at  my  visit,  chatting  gaily  about 
her  malady,  and  gradually  removing  her  vail  until 
she  had  uncovered  her  entire  face,  which  I  thought 
perfectly  right,  as  her  mother  was  present,  and  as 
it  euabled  me  to  examine  her  gums,  and  to  make  a 
proper  application  to  them.  She  then  ordered  cof- 
fee and  cigarettes,  which  I  accepted,  and  in  the 
best  Arabic  that  I  could  master,  made  myself  as 
agreeable  as  possible,  though  not  getting  beyond  a 

^See  Appendix  (K). 


few    common-place    expressions   taken    from    the 
phrase  book. 

I  was  delighted  with  the  manner  in  which  I  had 
been  entertained,  and  I  departed,  rejoicing  in  the 
conviction  that  I  had  made  a  good  impression  upon  ' 
the  invalid  and  had  secured  the  family  en  perma- 
nence as  friends  and  patrons. 

At  an  earlv  hour  on  the  succeedino^  mornino;  I 
received  a  message  from  the  bey,  to  the  effect  that 
his  wife  had  gone  to  the  country  for  a  change  of 
air,  and  the  sum  of  fifty  francs  in  return  for  my 
professional  services.  Assured  at  once  that  some- 
thing was  wrong,  I  sent  Achmed  around  to  pre- 
sent my  compliments  and  to  ascertain  the  nature  of 
the  difficulty.  He  soon  returned,  looking  as  pale 
as  a  ghost,  and  frightened  nearly  out  of  his  wits. 

''  Oh,  Doctor!"  he  exclaimed,  as  he  entered  my 
office,  "the  Bey  is  terribly  angry  with  you.  He  is 
going  to  visit  the  Khedive  to  complain  that  you 
haA^e  insulted  him,  and  to  ask  for  redress.  He  says 
that  you  shall  be  driven  out  of  the  country  for  the 
great  outrage  which  you  perpetrated  in  his  house 
on  yesterday  You  are  in  serious  trouble.  I  am 
so  sorry  that  I  was  not  with  you." 

"  I  was  as  polite  and  as  respectful  as  possible  on 
yesterday.  I  conducted  myself  as  a  gentleman  and 
a  physician  in  every  way.  Of  what  does  the  old 
fool  complain  ?" 

''  He  says  that  you  violated  the  Mohammedan 
law — that  you  offered  an  insult  to  the  religion  and 
the  customs  of  the  country,  and  he  swears  by  the 
beard  of  the  Prophet  that  you  shall  be  punished  for 
it.     He  has  already  punished  his  wife." 

"Punished  his  wife?     What  does  it  all  mean?" 

"  His  wife  uncovered  herself  before  you,  did  she 

"  Yes,  but  I  had  nothing  to  do  with  her  uncover- 

432  A  doctor's  experiexces 

ing  herself.  She  did  it  of  her  own  volition.  What 
have  I  done,  I  should  like  to  know  ?" 

^' You  looked  at  her  face  ;  you  saw  her  mouth 
and  the  hack  of  her  head." 

^'  Of  course,  but  how  could  I  helj)  seeing  her  face 
and  head  when  she  uncovered  them?  As  for  her 
mouth,  it  is  what  I  wanted  to  see.  Was  there 
any  crime  in  seeing  what  was  before  my  eyes — in 
looking  at  what  I  was  sent  for  to  treat?" 

"Yes,  Doctor,  according  to  the  Mohammedan 
law,  it  was  a  crime  to  look  at  them,  and  especially 
at  her  mouth  and  head.  You  have  defiled  her  by 
gazing  on  them,  and  have  placed  your  life  even 
at  the  mercy  of  her  husband." 

''A  crime  to  look  at  her  face  !  Defiled  her  by 
seeing  her  mouth  and  head  !  What  loas  I  to  do 
when  she  uncovered  herself  and  exposed  them  to 
view  f 

''It  was  your  solemn  duty  to  turn  j'our  back 
upon  her,  and  then  to  walk  to  the  corner  of  the 
room  and  hold  your  face  there  until  she  recovered 
herself.  That  is  what  our  law  and  customs  de- 
mand under  such  circumstances  ;  and  it  is  for  not 
"doing  that  precise  thing  that  the  old  man  is  angry, 
and  is  going  to  report  you  to  his  highness." 

Well,  let  him  report  as  soon  as  he  pleases. 
His  highness  has  lived  in  Christian  countries,  and 
he  knows  that  to  turn  one's  back  on  a  lady  is  an 
offense  that  no  gentleman  would  think  of  commit- 
ting. I  am  not  in  the  least  alarmed.  But  you 
say  he  has  punished  his  wife.  What  has  he  done 
to  her?" 

"Oh,  yes,  he  has  punished  her.  I  heard  both  her 
and  her  mother  wailing,  and  the  eunuch  told  me 
that  the  Bey  had  said  to  her,  "I  divorce  you,"  tioice, 
and  had  ordered  her  to  his  country  place  on  pro- 
bation   for    six    months,  when    he    would    decide 


whether  or  not  to  make  the  divorce  absolute  by  re- 
peating it  the  third  time.  Nothing  but  the  prayers 
of  her  mother  has  prevented  him  from  divorcing 
her  at  once  and  absolutely." 

"  Then  come  with  me,  I  will  pay  him  a  visit,  and 
after  having  explained  my  conduct,  having  shown 
him  that  as  a  Christian  and  a  gentleman  I  could  not 
turn  my  back  on  a  lady,  I  will  intercede  for  the 
poor  woman." 

''AH  right,  your  excellency.  I  think  that  the 
best  course  to  pursue." 

I  drove  at  once  to  the  house  of  the  bey,  where  I 
was  met  by  the  eunuch  with  many  salaams,  pro- 
fessions of  friendship,  and  the  assurance  that  his 
master  was  not  at  home.  ''That  is  all  right," 
said  I,  slipping  a  ten-franc  piece  in  his  itching 
palm.  "I  will  aAvait  his  return."  I  was  im- 
mediately invited  into  the  house,  given  a  cup  of 
coffee  and  a  pipe,  and  overwhelmed  with  politeness, 
while  the  master  was  produced  after  so  brief  a 
delay  as  to  assure  me  that  he  had  been  at  home 
all  the  time. 

Talk  about  French  politeness  !  It  is  no  more  to 
be  compared  to  that  of  an  Oriental  than  a  mustard 
seed  to  a  pumpkin.  The  old  bey  was  as  suave  and 
as  obsequious  as  if  I  had  been  the  Khedive  himself. 
Although  he  would  have  been  pleased  to  thrown 
me  in  the  Nile,  he  actually  embraced  me,  and 
declared  that  he  and  his  household  were  my  friends 
and  slaves.  As  w^e  sipped  our  coffee  together,  I 
made  Achmed  explain  that,  never  having  lived 
in  a  Mohammedan  country  before,  I  was  ignorant 
of  its  customs,  and  that  in  Christian  lands  it  was 
regarded  as  a  breach  of  civility  to  turn  one's  back 
on  a  lady,  especially  on  the  wife  of  a  great  man  and 
an  esteemed  friend.  He  professed  to  be  more  than 
satisfied,  begged  me  never  to  think  of  the  occur- 

434  A  doctor's  experiences 

rence  again,  and  vowed  that  no  other  physiciaB 
should  ever  cross  his  threshold  while  1  remained 
in  the  country. 

I  then  tried  to  put  in  a  word  for  the  wife,  hut, 
while  he  smiled,  bowed  and  looked  the  very  pic- 
ture of  amiability,  he  told  Achmed  in  Turkish — 
knowing  that  I  did  not  understand  the  language 
— that  if  another  word  was  said  concerning  his 
hareem,  or  if  I  was  informed  of  the  threat  that  he.was 
then  making,  he  (Achmed)  should  receive  the  hour- 
hashe  and  be  sent  to  the  Soudan,  a  region  which 
in  Egypt  is  placed  upon  the  same  plane  with  the 
"bottomless  pit,''  both  as  regards  climate  and  a 
billet  de  retour.    ^ 

I  could  learn  nothing  respecting  the  fate  of  the 
unfortunate  wife,  and  I  never  saw  or  heard  of  the 
Bey  again  while  I  remained  in  Egypt. 

It  seems  that  with  many  women  the  mouth  and 
the  back  of  the  head  are  the  pieces  de  resistance , 
and  that  the  face  is  vailed  for  the  especial  pur- 
pose of  guarding  their  features  against  masculine 
observation  ;  this  exposure  being  regarded  as  the 
ultima  tliule  of  pollution,  especially  if  the  woman  be 
a  wife. 

Though  the  women  of  the  hareem  live  only  in  an 
atmosphere  of  intrigue,  their  experience  in  that  re- 
gard is  usually  confined  to  plots  and  aspirations. 
Guarded  by  mercenary  eunuchs,  separated  from  the 
world  by  every  barrier  that  jealousy  can  invent^ 
and  confrontecl  by  the  certainty  of  punishment  in 
the  event  of  discovery,  the  current  of  their  lives  is 
seldom  stirred  by  the  ripple  of  a  real  adventure. 

Nevertheless,  it  sometimes  happens  even  in 
Eastern  lands  that  "love  laughs  at  locksmiths,"  and 
finds  a  way  to  fruition  in  spite  of  unsympathizing 
eunuchs  and  impotent  husbands. 

As  an  illustration  of  this  fact,  I  will  tell  you  a. 


story  as  it  was  told  to  me  by  an  old  Cairoan,  who 
vouched  for  its  correctness. 

A  few  years  since  a  young  bey — the  son  of  a  rich 
and  influential  pasha — became  enamored  of  a  lady 
occupying  a  high  position  in  the  hareem  of  a  great 
j)ersonage,  and  his  passion  was  reciprocated.  De- 
spite the  difficulties  and  dangers  of  the  situation, 
they  succeeded  in  securing  a  few  hurried  interviews, 
and- they  deluded  themselves  with  the  belief  that 
their  secret  was  exclusively  confined  to  their  trusted 
and  sympathizing  attendants. 

She  started  out  one  night  in  her  carriage,  os- 
tensibly to  attend  the  opera — where  a  private  en- 
trance and  a  latticed  box  had  been  constructed  for 
the  convenience  of  women  occupying  a  certain 
position  in  society — accompanied  by  three  eunuchs, 
one  with  the  coachman  and  the  other  two  on  iiorse- 
back  as  outriders.  As  the  cortege  passed  a  certain 
secluded  spot  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  palace 
it  halted  for  an  instant,  and  a  muffled  figure 
emerged  from  the  obscurity  and  entered  the  car- 
riage, instead  of  taking  the  direction  of  the  opera 
house  it  kept  straight  on  by  the  Esbeekyah  garden, 
over  the  canal  bridge,  and  into  the  Choubra  road, 
on  the  opposite  side  of  Cairo.  It  had  just  reached 
the  rows  of  acacias  which  adorn  either  side  of  that 
great  thoroughfare,  when  a  small  detachment  of 
policemen  sprang  from  behind  the  trees,  seized  the 
bridles  of  the  horses,  and  stopped  the  carriage. 
Then,  having  spoken  a  few  words  to  the  affrighted 
lovers  and  astonished  eunuchs,  they  carried  the 
entire  party  to  the  private  entrance  of  Zapteih — the 
principal  police  station  of  the  city. 

No  trial  was  permitted,  but  a  sentence  was  pro- 
nounced— and  a  very  speedy  and  fearful  one.  The 
eunuch  and  the  coachman  disappeared — they  were 
doubtless  tied  up  in  sacks    and  thrown  into   the 

436  A  doctor's  experiences 

Nile  ;  while  tlie  bey  was  forced  into  the  ranks  of 
a  regiment  en  route  to  Khartoum,  and  the  lady, 
despoiled  of  her  silks  and  jewels,  stripped  of  her 
vail,  and  clad  in  the  dress  of  a  peasant,  was  forced 
to  marry  a  negro  soldier — or,  in  other  words,  to 
become  his  cook  and  washerwoman  for  the  re- 
mainder of  her  days. 

I  cannot  vouch  for  this  story,  but  my  friend  de- 
clared it  to  be  true,  and  I  have  absolute  confidence 
in  his  reliability. 

Family  life  is  in  reality  unknown  among  Mus- 
sulmans. The  law  of  the  Koran^  which  divides 
mankind  into  two  distinct  classes — males  and  fe- 
males— does  not  permit  the  existence  of  a  famil}^ 
in  which  each  member  lives  the  same  life  and 
forms  a  part  of  one  harmonious  menage.  The  men 
have  separate  ideas,  habits  and  interests,  while  the 
women  have  others,  appertaining  exclusively  to 
themselves.  Thus,  persons  who  nominally  form  a 
part  of  the  same  family  have  absolutely  nothing 
in  common — neither  apartments,  goods,  furniture 
nor  friends.  * 

The  selamlik  and  the  hareem  are  virtually  two 
separate  establishments,  in  which  each  occupant 
does  just  what  it  pleases  him  or  her  self^ — within 
the  limits  prescribed  by  Mohammedan  etiquette 
and  usage. 

The  system  of  segregation  upon  which  Mussul- 
man family  life  is  based^  influenced  by  the  para- 
mount law  of  self-interest,  gives  rise  to  a  singular- 
ity which  is  remarkable.  The  women  on  their  side 
have  their  own  private  affairs.  They  entertain 
their  friends  ;  they  have  their  own  receptions,  and 
they  amuse  themselves  in  their  own  fashion,  and  to 
the  extent  allowed  by  their  vigilant  guardians,  the 
eunuchs.  In  the  selamlik  the  pasha,  his  friends,  de- 
pendents, visitors  and  guests  do  the  same  things, 

IN    THREfe   CONTINENTS.  "  43*7 

spend  their  time  in  talking  politics,  intriguing, 
gossiping,  and  amusing  themselves  according  to 
the  bent  of  their  inclinations.  In  a  word,  the  men 
and  the  women  live  virtually  apart,  having  no 
sentiments  or  interests  or  aspirations  in  common, 
each  trying  to  get  all  the  enjoyment  possible  out 
of  life,  without  taking  heed  of  the  existence  of  the 

It  is  generally  about  11  p.  m.  when  the  pasha 
definitely  retires  to  the  hareem.  He  is  received  at 
the  threshold  by  the  eunuch,  who  awaits  his  ap- 
proach with  lights  in  each  hand,  and  then  pre- 
cedes him  through  the  entrance  hall  to  the  apart- 
ment of  his  favorite  wife  or  his  concubine. 

At  the  time  of  rising  in  the  morning\he  is  at- 
tended by  slaves  who  assist  at  his  toilet  and  ablu- 
tions^ and  when  these  are  completed,  he  remains 
for  a  few  moments  in  the  hareem  to  talk  with  the 
members  of  his  family  on  any  subject  that  may  in- 
terest them,  and  then  hastens  to  join  his  friends 
and  attendants  in  his  own  apartment,  within  which 
the  females  of  his  family  seldom  intrude  them- 

It  is  only  during  the  brief  period  in  which  he 
lingers  in  the  hareem  that  the  ''family  circle"  has 
any  real  existence — for  the  rest  of  the  time  it  exists 
only  in  name. 

Such  is  the  prejudice  existing  among  Moham- 
medans against  the  association  of  the  sexes  that  a 
woman  is  considered  absolutely  defiled  after  her 
face  has  been  seen  by  one  who  has  not  the  right  to 
look  upon  it,  or  has  even  spoken  to  a  man  ;  and  it 
is  unlawful  to  bury  a  female  and  a  male  in  the 
same  tomb  without  building  a  stone  wall  between 
them,  upon  the  assumption,  doubtless,  that — 

"E'en  in  their  ashes  hve  their  wonted  fires." 

438  A  doctor's  experiences 



My  Dear  Doctor  : 

We  were  formally  presented  to  the  Khedive,  who 
received  us  w^ith  great  cordiality^  and  remarked 
that  he  hoped  we  should  never  have  cause  to  re- 
gret our  connection  wdth  his  service,  and  justice  to 
that  great  man  constrains  me  to  say  that  his  con- 
duct was  characterized  by  a  spirit  of  genuine  kind- 
ness and  absolute  liberality  during  the  entire  period 
of  my  residence  in  Egypt. 

No  man  has  been  more  abused  than  Ismail 
Pasha,*  and  yet  impartial  history  will  place  him 
in  the  first  rank  of  rulers  and  statesmen.  The  ut- 
ter ruin  which  has  fallen  upon  his  country  since 
his  abdication,  compared  wdth  its  prosperous  con- 
dition wdien  he  controlled  its  destinies,  speaks  with 
a  trumpet's  tongue  in  his  behalf.  Forced  to  abdi- 
cate because  his  genius  and  patriotism  w^ere  stum- 
bling-blocks in  the  way  of  England's  '^foreign 
policy,"  a  systematic  effort  has  been  made  to  tra- 
duce him,  in  order  to  demonstrate  the  wisdom  of 
hir  removal.  But  the  great  work  which  he  did  in 
Egypt,  together  with  the  complete  chaos  and  de- 
moralization which  have  followed  his  removal,  will 
eventually  be  accepted  as  his  vindication  ;  and  the 
time  will  come — and  speedily — when  his  restora- 
tion to  power  will  be  regarded  as  the  only    practi- 

*8ee  Appendix  (L). 


€al  solution  of  the  Egyptian  question,  as  the  sole 
means  of  re-establishing  peace  and  prosperity  to 
that  distracted  country.  His  son  and  successor, 
Tewfick  Pasha,  I  met  frequently,  and  know 
well.  A  more  loyal  gentleman  does  not  live,  but 
he  is  inherently  weak  and  vacillating.  Willing  to 
make  any  sacrifice  for  his  country,  but  influenced 
by  the  last  man  who  has  his  ear,  he  is  utterly  in- 
capable of  elaborating  or  of  maintaining  a  policy  of 
his  own.  Emphatically  a  Turk,  and  wedded  to 
the  traditions  of  the  past,  he  derives  his  inspira- 
tions exclusively  from  the  Koran.  With  him  as  a 
ruler,  progress  and  enlightenment  are  impossibili- 
ties in  Egypt,  and  the  country  can  only  gravitate 
downward  toward  absolute  Mohammedanism,  watli 
its  concomitant  ignorance,  superstition  and  intol- 

Arabi  Pasha  has  been  accepted  as  a  patriot  and  a 
hero  by  those  who  are  ignorant  of  his  character,  and 
misinformed  in  regard  to  the  real  condition  of 

Circumstances,  it  is  true,  gave  some  color  to  his 
pretensions  as  an  apostle  of  liberty  and  the  cham- 
pion of  an  oppressed  people,  but  he  is  intrinsically 
corrupt  and  incapable  of  a  sentiment  untainted  by 
egotism  and  selfishness. 

It  is  said  that  he  was  once  drummed  out  of  his 
regiment  for  peculation,  and,  though  he  is  a  bold 
man,  his  character  is  polluted  by  vices  of  the  low- 
est and  the  most  degraded  nature.  The  people 
rallied  around  him  because  of  his  agrarian  princi- 
ples, and  from  the  conviction  that  he  desired  to  es- 
tablish a  regime  more  decidedly  Egyptian  than  that 
of  the  Khedive  himself,  that  is  to  say,  more  big- 
oted, contracted  and  fanatical  than  is  possible  un- 
der the  existing  order  of  things 

Had  Ismail  reigned  at  the    time,    there    would 


have  been  no  necessity  for  English  intervention ^ 
for,  with  the  first  overt  act  of  rebellion,  Arabi 
would  have  been  sent  to  rusticate  in  the  arid  wastes 
of  the  Soudan  or  to  feed  the  fishes  of  the  Nile 
nearer  home. 

It  is  Arabi  who  is  really  responsible  for  his 
country's  ruin,  since  he  furnished  the  opportunity 
to  England  for  that  active  intervention  in  Egj^ptian 
afi'airs  which  she  had  so  long  and  impatiently 
waited  for — that  excuse  for  seizing  and  holding  the 
country  of  which  she  so  gladly  availed  herself  un- 
der the  color  of  avenojino;  the  so-called  massacre  of 
Alexandria,  and  of  protecting  the  Khedive  against 
his  rebellious  subjects.  Viewed  therefore  from 
every  possible  standpoint,  the  abdication  of  Ismail 
Pasha  has  been  an  unmixed  calamity  to  Egypt — 
the  Pandora  box  from  which  the  direst  calamities 
have  been  let  loose  upon  that  unfortunate  country. 

Ismail  is  still  in  the  prime  of  a  vigorous  man- 
hood. Having  avoided  the  excesses  which  have- 
hurried  so  many  of  his  predecessors  to  untimely 
graves,  his  powers  of  mind  and  body  have  suffered 
no  impairment.  With  his  lofty  ambition,  his  im- 
perious will,  his  indomitable  energy,  his  subtle 
statesmanship  and  his  profound  knowledge  of  the 
necessities  of  his  country,  and  of  the  charac- 
ter of  its  people,  he  has,  in  my  opinion,  a  grand 
role  still  before  him.  The  great  powers  of  Europe, 
wearying  of  the  criminal  fiasco  which  is  being 
played  upon  the  banks  of  the  Nile,  must  soon  arise 
in  their  majesty  and  compel  the  only  solution  which 
common  sense  and  sound  diplomacy  dictate — the 
immediate  restoration  of  this  w^onderful  man  ta 
the  throne  which  he  once  so  signally  adorned  by 
his  wisdom,  courage,  enlightenment  and  thorough 
knowledge  of  the  necessities  of  his  countrymen. 

It  has  been  urged  that  Ismail  is  ambitious  ;  that 

m    THREE   CONTINENTS.  441 

he  conquered  the  Soudan,  attempted  to  annex  Abys- 
sinia and  desired  to  buikl  up  a  great  African  em- 
pire, with  himself  as  its  supreme  dictator.  This  is 
undoubtedly  true.  Such  was  his  dream.  But  the 
ambition  was  a  noble  one,  for  it  meant  the  reclama- 
tion of  millions  of  untutored  savages  from  barbar- 
ism— the  unfurling  of  the  standard  of  civilization 
and  good  government  over  vast  territories  which 
otherwise  must  remain  under  the  dominion  of  ig- 
norance, superstition  and  fanaticism  for  centuries 
to  come.  Surely  his  was  a  wiser  and  a  grander 
jjolicy  than  tiiat  which  the  statesmen  of  Downing 
street  have  proclaimed — the  entire  abandonment 
of  the  Soudan  and  of  the  central  African  provinces 
to  their  native  population,  and  the  curtailment  of 
the  blessings  of  civilization  to  the  restricted  limits 
of  lower  and  upper  Egypt. 

It  is  better  far  to  have  Ismail  Pasha  upon  the 
Khedival  throne,  with  all  his  ambition — with  as 
capacious  an  empire  as  his  fondest  dreams  may 
have  mapped  out — than  to  see  the  light  of  civiliza- 
tion extinguished  for  ever  in  the  vast  regions  which 
he  has  already  reclaimed  by  the  expenditure  of  such 
a  stream  of  blood,  and  with  such  great  benefits  to 
their  people  and  to  the  world  at  large^  simply  that 
England  may  be  saved  the  expense  of  guarding  so 
extensive  a  line  of  frontier  against  a  hostile  popu- 

He  has  been  accused  of  ruling  with  the  Kour- 
hacJie  alone,  and  of  oppressing  his  people.  I  only 
know  that,  under  his  domination,  the  blessings  of 
education  were  brought  to  the  door  of  every  man 
in  the  country  ;  that  religious  freedom  was  inaugu- 
rated from  Aboukir  to  Wadi  Haifa  ;  that  canals 
and  railroads  were  constructed  to  an  extent  that 
had  never  been  dreamed  of  before  ;  that  the  area 
of  arable  land  was  increased  by  millions  of  acres  ; 


that  the  wealth  of  Egypt  was  augmented  a  hun- 
dred fold  ;  that  slavery  was  abolished  and  the  slave 
trade,  in  a  great  measure,  suppressed  ;  that  thou- 
sands of  foreigners,  with  talents  and  material  wealth, 
were  attracted  to  the  country  and  induced  to  con- 
tribute to  its  prosperity  ;  that  a  stimulus  was  given 
to  manufactures  and  to  the  art  of  husbandry  un- 
precedented in  its  influence  and  consequences  ;  that 
a  land  which  he  found  a  cheerless  desert  was  con- 
verted into  a  smiling  garden,  and  that  a  people 
whom  he  first  knew  as  a  race  of  nomads  were 
transformed  into  a  nation,  and  given  a  position  of 
honor  and  influence  in  the  world.  I  only  know 
that,  since  his  expulsion,  civilization  has  retro- 
graded a  decade  ;  that  brigandage  has  taken  the 
place  of  peaceful  industry;  that  rapine  and  mur- 
der stalk  red-handed  through  the  provinces  ;  that 
poverty  has  usurped  the  place  of  prosperity  ;  that 
the  people  generally  have  become  utterly  discon- 
tented and  demoralized,  and  that  Egypt  has  lost 
all  of  the  prestige  and  position  which  she  once  pos- 

Shortly  after  our  arrival  Ismail  Pasha  was  sum- 
moned hurriedly  to  Constantinople,  and  left  Egypt 
without  having  given  the  necessary  orders  for  our 
, assignment  to  duty.  Having  therefore  nothing  to 
do,  I  accepted  an  invitation  from  General  Loring,* 
and  spent  several  weeks  with  him  at  Gabara. 

I  never  passed  a  more  agreeable  summer.  It  is 
true  that  the  midday  heat  was  oppressive  to  those 
who  ventured  out  of  doors,  but,  ensconced  under 
the  shelter  of  the  grand  veranda,  we  smoked  our 
pipes  or  drank  our  iced  champagne,  or  regaled  our- 
selves with  watermelons  from  the  Ionian  Isles  and 
fruits  from  the  Gabara  gardens,  or  fought  over  the 

*See  Appendix  (X). 


battles  of  the  war,  or  talked  of  our  distant  homes 
and  mutual  friends,  without  realizing  even  that  the 
sun  shone,  while  the  mornings  and  evenings  were 
cooled  by  a  breeze  from  the  sea  that  brought 
strength  and  refreshment  in  its  every  breath. 

During  this  visit  I  met  for  the  first  time  General 
Sibley^  the  inventor  of  the  tent  which  bears  his 
name,  and  a  soldier  who  had  made  his  mark  in 
three  armies — that  of  the  United  States,  of  the 
Confederacy  and  of  the  Khedive  of  Egypt. 

Under  his  arduous  duties  his  health  had  com- 
pletely broken  down,  and  I  found  him  a  hopeless 
invalid  in  the  protestant  hospital,  just  beyond  the 
walls  of  Alexandria.  Acting  on  my  advice,  he 
resigned  his  commission  and  returned  home — to 
spend  the  remainder  of  a  life,  which  began  so  well, 
in  poverty  and  valetudinarianism. 

I  also  met  there  my  old  friend.  Colonel  Walter 
Jenifer,  the  real  hero  of  Ball's  Bluff,  who,  after 
distinguishing  himself  as  an  ^' inspector  of  cav- 
alry"— an  office  for  which  his  tastes  and  education 
pre-eminently  fitted  him — was  ordered  to  report 
for  duty  to  the  commander  of  Alexandria,  who  had 
no  cavalry  in  his  command,  and  was  thus  forced  to 
pass  his  days  in  inaction  and  repining.  He  re- 
signed soon  afterward  and  there  was  consequently 
lost  to  Egypt  one  of  the  best  officers  and  truest 
gentlemen  that  ever  entered  her  service. 

General  Frank  Reynolds,  familiarly  known  as 
^^Old  Gauley,"  from  his  gallant  defense  of  a 
bridge  over  a  river  of  that  name  in  Western  Vir- 
ginia, and  his  son.  Colonel  Frank  Reynolds,  were 
also  aids  to  General  Loring,  and  occupied  quarters 
in  the  palace.  They  were  fine  specimens  of  South- 
ern gentlemen  and  soldiers — as  brave  as  lions,  per- 
fectly accomplished  in  their  profession,  genial  in 
their  dispositions,   elegant  in   their  manners,  and 

444  A  doctor's  experiences 

wanting  for  nothing  save  an  opportunity  to  distin- 
guish themselves  and  to  win  the  promotion  which 
they  so  much  coveted.  By  a  strange  fatality,  first 
the  son,  and  then  the  father,  died  suddenly,  the 
one  in  America  and  the  other  in  Egypt,  to  the  sor- 
row of  their  friends  and  to  the  misfortune  of  the 
country  in  which  they  had  taken  service. 

Major  Campbell,  of  Tennessee,  another  gallant 
Southern  soldier,  was  also  a  member  of  General 
Loring's  staff,  and  with  him  I  passed  many  a 
pleasant  hour.  Shortly  afterward  he  was  ordered 
to  join  General  Gordon  in  Central  Africa,  but, 
having  contracted  a  fatal  malady  at  Gondokora, 
he  was  forced  to  attempt  to  return  to  Cairo  for 
medical  treatment,  but  died  at  Khartoum,  where 
he  was  faithfully  nursed  and  tenderly  buried  by 
the  Sisters  of  Charity,  who  have  a  convent  there. 
Campbell  had  originally  been  a  naval  officer,  first 
in  the  service  of  the  United  States  and  afterward 
in  that  of  the  Confederacy,  and  had  greatly  dis- 
tinguished himself  before  he  went  to  Egypt.  A 
more  gallant  and  loyal  man  never  lived,  and  I 
mourned  his  loss  as  if  he  had  been  my  own  brother. 
I  attempted  to  take  care  of  his  effects,  but  failed  in 
the  effort.  After  packing  his  valuables  in  a  trunk 
I  placed  it,  with  several  of  my  own,  in  the  hands 
of  a  native  officer,  who  promised  to  guard  them 
until  they  could  be  sent  for,  and  kept  his  word  by 
breaking  them  open,  appropriating  their  contents, 
and  then  sending  them  to  the  vacant  house  in  the 
Dowhadieh,  which  I  had  used  as  my  dispensary. 
I  placed  also  in  the  hands  of  this  individual  a 
number  of  family  portraits,  which  he  pretended  to 
hang  upon  the  walls  of  his  house  for  safe  keeping 
and  ended  by  selling  them  for  what  they  would 
bring.  I  actually  had  to  repurchase  several  of 
these  portraits,  while  the  most  valuable — that  of 


my  elder  daughter — could  never  be  found.  When 
questioned  by  the  American  consul^  he  simply  de- 
clared that  he  had  never  seen  either  trunks  or  pic- 
tures, and  that  their  loss  did  not  concern  him  in 
the  least.  Such  is  Mohammedan  honesty  when 
the  property  of  Christians  is  concerned! 

The  only  thing  of  value  which  escaped  his  jdII- 
fering  fingers  was  a  wedding-vail,  which  had  orig- 
inally cost  a  thoLisand  dollars  and  was  the  gift  of 
old  Mr.  James  C.  Johnstone  to  my  wife.  That, 
fortunately,  happened  to  be  enveloped  in  a  child's 
calico  dress,  and  eluded  the  search  of  my  friend 
and  comrade,  much  to  our  delight,  as  you  may  im- 

With  the  return  of  the  Khedive,  I  hastened  to 
Cairo,  and  was  rejoiced  by  the  immediate  issue  of 
an  order  assigning  me  to  duty  as  the  '^  chief  sur- 
geon of  the  general  staff,"  which  gave  me  work 
to  do,  and  enabled  me  to  draw  my  pay  and  allow- 

My  first  important  patient  was  the  assistant 
minister  of  war,  to  whom  I  was  sent  by  a  formal 
order  from  the  ministry. 

On  arriving  at  the  sick  man's  house,  I  found  a 
number  of  physicians  assembled,  as  a  formal  ''con- 
•sultation  "  had  been  commanded,  and  I  thus  had 
an  opportunity  of  learning  the  meaning  of  that 
term  as  it  is  understood  in  Egypt.  After  an  ex- 
change of  compliments  and  a  cup  of  coffee,*  we 
were  ushered  into  the  sick  chamber,  and  each  phy- 
sician— beginning  with  the  youngest  and  ending 
with  the  eldest — proceeded  to  make  sach  an  exam- 
ination as  his  judgment  suggested.  We  then  ad- 
journed to  the  garden,  where  an  exchange  of  views 
was  had.     Each  doctor  in  turn — beginning  again 

*See  Appendix  (M). 

446  A  doctor's  experiences 

with  the  youngest — gave  a  lecture  on  medicine 
generally,  parading  all  the  knowledge  which  he 
possessed  but  scarcely  touching  the  case,  and  ended 
by  declaring  that  the  ''patient  was  paralyzed,  and 
should  be  blistered  and  given  calomel." 

When  my  turn  came  I  declined  to  say  a  word 
until  I  had  heard  from  all  the  rest — putting  it 
upon  the  ground  of  politeness — and  finally  aston- 
ished them  by  the  announcement  that  the  Pasha  was 
not  paralyzed  in  the  least,  but  was  suffering  from 
rheumatism  accompanied  by  great  prostration,  and 
that  the  treatment  indicated  was  the  iodide  of  pot- 
ash and  proper  nourishment.  With  one  voice  they 
exclaimed:  "Not  paralyzed!  He  can't  move  a 
muscle.  Kheumatism!  He  has  not  a  symptom. 
Nourishment !  He  will  die  if  you  attempt  to  feed 

1  then  invited  them  into  the  chamber,  and,  by 
much  persuasion,  induced  the  patient  to  change 
the  position  of  each  limb  by  an  effort  of  will, 
pointed  out  the  symptoms  of  rheumatism  which 
were  present,  and  told  them  that  "  if  a  patient 
who  had  been  purged  with  salts  and  fed  exclu- 
sively on  a  soup  made  of  vegetables  for  two  weeks 
did  not  require  nourishment,  I  knew  nothing 
about  medicine."  They,  then,  to  a  man,  appar- 
ently changed  their  views,  agreed  with  me  en- 
tirely, and,  promising  that  my  plan  of  treatment 
should  be  faithfully  pursued,  invited  me  to  meet 
them  again  at  the  same  hour  on  the  succeeding 
day.  1  was  triumphant;  I  thought  my  victory 
complete;  and  I  believed  that  I  had  saved  the 
Pasha  from  the  grave  to  which  his  medical  attend- 
ants were  fast  consigning  him. 

On  the  following  day  I  repaired  to  the  pasha's 
house,  ready  for  the  "consultation,"  and  believing 
that  I  should  be  able  to  point  out  decided  evidence 


of  improvement  in  his  condition.  Judge  therefore 
of  my  suprise  when  I  discovered  not  a  sign  of  life 
about  the  premises,  when  no  doctors  put  in  an  ap- 
pearance and  when  I  ascertained  that  the  invalid 
and  his  entire  family  had  been  spirited  away,  no 
one  could  tell  me  whither. 

The  pretended  change  of  views  among  the  doctors, 
the  proposition  to  meet  them  in  another  "consul- 
tation," and  the  removal  and  concealment  of  the 
piatient,  were  all  parts  of  a  cunning  ruse  to  get  rid 
of  me,  and  to  treat  the  pasha  according  to  their  o\vn 
ideas.  It  was  in  vain  that  I  appealed  to  the  min- 
ister of  war;  for  my  confreres  had  forestalled  me, 
and  convinced  his  excellency  the  course  pursued 
was  necessary  for  the  invalid's  safety — that  my 
plan  of  treatment  involved  his  certain  death,  and 
justified  the  employment  of  the  most  extreme 
measures  to  keep  him  out  of  my  hands.  Such  is 
medical  etiquette  on  the  banks  of  the  Nile.  This 
was  their  day  of  triumph — mine  came  afterward. 

A  short  time  subsequent  to-i^his  event  I  was 
summoned  hurriedly  to  a  '^  consultation"  at  the 
house  of  Kassim  Pasha — the  patient  being  no  less 
a  person  than  the  minister  of  war  himself.  He 
was  suffering  from  hernia,  the  intestine  having 
descended  into  the  scrotum,  and  become  incarce- 
rated there.  I  advised  that  he  should  be  put  under 
the  influence  of  chloroform,  that  taxis  should  then 
be  attempted,  and  that  the  o]3eration  of  herniotomy 
should  be  instantl}^  performed  if  all  other  means 
failed  to  effect  reduction.  My  advice  was  rejected 
of  course,  and  I  immediately  retired.  Three  days 
afterward  I  was  again  summoned,  to  find  that  re- 
duction had  not  been  effected  and  that  symptoms  of 
strangulation — stercoraceous  vomiting  and  great 
depression — had  manifested  themselves. 

After  a  thorough  examination  of  the  case  I  be- 

448  A  doctor's  experie^t'es 

came  convinced  that  the  incarcerated  intestine  was 
not  materially  injured,  and  that  much  of  the  de- 
pression was  due  not  so  much  to  the  disease  as  to 
the  injections  of  tobacco,  which  had  been  liberally 
employed  to  induce  relaxation,  and  I  boldly  declared 
that  the  pasha  could  be  saved,  as  desperate  as  his 
condition  seemed.  Having  stimulated  him  freely 
with  brandy  and  water — which  the  natives  con- 
sidered unholy  treatment — I  had  the  gratification 
of  seeing  some  reaction  established  ;  and  I  deter- 
mined to  administer  chloroform,  and  then  either  to 
reduce  the  tumor  by  taxis,  or  to  perform  heriotomy^ 
as  the  circumstances  required.  I  found  however 
great  difficulty  in  inducing  any  medical  man  to 
assist  me.  They  all  retired,  and  declared  that  tlie3' 
would  have  "nothing to  do  with  the  murder  of  the 
Pasha."  The  hareem,  through  the  chief  eunuch, 
insisted  that  I  should  not  proceed  until  the  private 
physician  of  the  Khedive  * — a  Frenchman — had 
given  his  consent.  He  was  accordingly  sent  for, 
and  asked  what  he  thought  of  the  measure  which 
I  had  proposed  ?  He  rej)lied  that  he  "  believed  the 
pasha  would  die  inevitably,  but  was  in  favor  of 
permitting  me  to  proceed,  as  every  man  was  en- 
titled to  his  chance."  I  then  requested  him  to  aid 
me  to  the  extent  of  administering  chloroform.  This 
he  agreed  to  do  on  condition  that  I  would  assume 
all  the  responsibility  of  the  case,  and  give  him  time 
to  dispatch  a  messenger  to  the  Khedive  to  inform  him 
upon  what  terms  he  had  consented  to  aid  me.  In  the 
presence  of  all  the  principal  pashas,  beys,  and 
officials  of  the  court,  the  minister  was  removed 
from  his  bed  and  placed  upon  a  mattress  in  the 
middle  of  the  room.  None  of  the  female  portion  of 
the  household  were  present  ;  but  they  were  repre- 

See  Ax3penclix  (0). 


sented  by  the  chief  eunuch,  who  stood  at  the  feet  of 
the  invalid,  shouting,  ^' Allah  !  Allah!  Allah! 
Inshallah  !  Inshallah  !  Inshallah  !  while  from 
the  latticed  hareem  in  the  rear  there  came  con- 
tinually that  peculiar  wail  which  seems  to  form  the 
principal  feature  in  the  mourning  of  the  East. 
With  the  exception  of  the  French  physician,  all  the 
surgeons  deserted  the  chamber  and  stood  in  the 
little  garden  outside  of  the  house^some  praying 
that  the  sick  man  might  be  saved,  but  the  majority 
cursing  the  stranger  who  had  the  temerity  to  un- 
dertake that  which  they  had  pronounced  impossible. 

At  this  moment  an  American  officer  of  high 
position  took  me  aside  and  said:  ^'Dr.  Warren, 
consider  well  what  you  are  undertaking  ;  success 
means  honor  and  fortune  for  you  in  this  country, 
while  failure  means  ruin  to  you  and  injury  to 
those  who  are  identified  with  you." 

I  replied  :  ''  1  thank  you  for  your  caution,  but  I 
was  taught  by  my  father  to  disregard  all  personal 
considerations  in  the  practice  of  medicine,  and  to 
think  only  of  the  interests  of  my  patients.  I  shall, 
therefore,  do  that  which  my  professional  duty  re- 
quires, and  let  the  consequences  take  care  of  them- 

Having  made  all  the  preparations  necessary  to 
perform  herniotomy,  should  that  operation  become 
necessary,  I  boldly  administered  chloroform,  al- 
though the  patient  was  in  a  state  of  great  depres- 
sion. To  my  delight  aneesthesia  was  promptly  de- 
veloped^ while  the  circulation  improved  with  every 
inspiration — just  as  I  had  previously  observed  in 
some  cases  of  shock  upon  the  battle-field.  Confid- 
ing the  administration  of  the  chloroform  to  the 
French  physician,  I  then  proceeded  to  examine  the 
tumor  and  to  attempt  its  reduction.  I  found  an 
immense  hydrocele,  and,  by  the  side  of  it,  a  hernia 

450  A  doctor's  experiences 

of  no  unusual  dimensions,  which,  by  a  rather  forci- 
ble manipulation,  I  completely  reduced  after  a 
few  moments  of  effort.  By  this  time  the  surgeons, 
unable  to  restrain  their  curiosity,  had  entered  the 
room  and  crowded  around  the  couch  of  the  sick 
man,  anxiously  awaiting  the  failure  which  they 
had  so  blatantly  predicted.  Turning  to  Mehemit 
Ali  Pasha^  the  professor  of  surgery  in  the  medical 
school  of  Cairo,  I  said  to  him  :  •'  The  hernia  is  re- 
duced, as  you  can  determine  by  pushing  your  finger 
into  the  external  ring." 

''Excuse  me,"  he  said,  in  the  most  supercilious 
manner,  ''you  have  undertaken  to  cure  Kassim 
Pasha,  and  I  can  give  you  no  help  in  the  matter." 

My  French  friend  immediately  introduced  his 
finger  into  thering  and  said :  ""Gentlemen, he  needs 
no  help  from  any  one  ;  the  hernia  is  reduced,  and 
the  pasha  is  saved." 

The  doctors  slunk  away  utterly  discomfited,  the 
eunuchs,  pashas,  beys,  and  officers  uttered  loud 
cries  of  "  Hamdallah !  Hamdallah !  Kismet!  Kis- 
met! Kismet!"  and  the  hareem  in  the  rear,  catch- 
ing the  inspiration  of  the  scene,  sent  up  a  shout  of 
joy  which  sounded  like  the  war-whoop  of  a  tribe  of 

In  a  moment  I  was  seized  by  the  chief  eunuch, 
embraced  in  the  most  impressive  manner,  and 
kissed  on  either  cheek — an  example  which  was  im- 
mediately followed  by  a  number  of  those  present — 
and  I  found  myself  the  most  famous  man  in  Egypt. 
The  Pasha  at  once  had  a  letter  addressed  to  the 
Khedive  narrating  the  circumstances,  and  asking 
that  I  might  be  decorated  and  made  a  bey.  His 
highness  sent  for  me,  thanked  me  warmly  for  hav- 
ing saved  the  life  of  his  favorite  minister,  and 
stated  that  he  had  ordered  that  I  should  be  made  a 
bey,  and  receive  the  decoration  of  the  Medidjieh. 


The  liareem  presented  me  with  a  beautiful  gold 
watch  and  chain  ;  my  house  was  thronged  for  sev- 
eral davs  afterward  with  the  his^hest  dio^nitaries  of 
the  country,  who  came  to  thank  and  congratulate 
me  ;  and  I  immediately  secured  an  immense  prac- 
tice, including  every  incurable  case  in  Cairo. 

To  make  assurance  doubly  sure,  and  to  prevent 
the  possibility  of  trickery  on  the  part  of  my  con- 
freres^ I  took  up  my  residence  in  his  palace,  carry- 
ing William  with  me,  and,  for  two  weeks,  never 
permitted  the  Pasha  to  be  out  of  the  sight  of  one 
of  us,  except  when  his  wife  visited  him^  as  I  knew 
that  my  baffled  and  jealous  colleagues  would  hesi- 
tate at  nothing  to  rob  me  of  the  fruits  of  my  vic- 

Kassim  Pasha  was  a  Greek  by  birth,  having 
been  captured  when  a  boy  and  sold  into  slavery. 
He  subsequently  embraced  the  Mohammedan  faith, 
and,  by  the  force  of  his  will  and  intellect  rose  to 
be  the  minister  of  war  of  Egypt,  and,  next  to  the 
Khedive,  the  most  important  man  in  the  country. 
He  had  but  one  wife,  but  his  hareem  was  filled  with 
female  slaves,  twelve  of  whom  waited  on  him  con- 
tinually during  his  illness,  and  were  rewarded 
afterward  by  being  given  in  marriage  to  twelve 
young  men  selected  from  the  retinue  of  the  Pasha, 
each  receiving  a  handsome  c^o^  on  her  wedding  day. 

When  the  wife  visited  him — as  she  did  twice 
daily — I  was  conducted  into  an  adjoining  chamber, 
and  was  never  permitted  to  see  her,  though  she 
sent  a  messenger  every  morning  to  inquire  after 
my  health,  and  to  present  her  thanks  and  compli- 
ments. She  subsequently  became  quite  intimate 
with  the  female  members  of  my  family,  who  assured 
me  that  she  was  a  charming  woman,  handsome  in 
person,  refined  in  manners^  devoted  to  her  husband, 
and  fitted  to  grace  any  court  in  the  world.     Un- 

452  A   doctor's   EXPEIilEXCES 

fortunately  they  had  no  children,  and  the  heir  ap- 
parent of  their  titles  and  estates  was  a  young  scape- 
grace named  Askalon-Bey,  the  nephew  of  the 
Pasha,  who,  though  a  Christian  by  birth  and  edu- 
cation, had  turned  Mussulman  for  the  sake  of  the 
inheritance.  He  spent  his  days  in  idleness  and  dis- 
sipation, much  to  the  sorrow  of  his  relations,  who 
had  sought  him  in  his  own  country  and  brought 
him  to  Egypt,  as  a  solace  and  support  in  their  de- 
clining years. 

Kassim  Pasha  recovered  perfectly,  and  a  short 
time  afterward  was  made  governor  of  Cairo,  in 
order  to  make  room  in  the  war  office  for  Houssein 
Pasha,  the  second  son  of  the  Khedive,  and  a  young 
man  of  much  ability  and  promise. 

During  the  entire  period  of  my  residence  in  Egypt 
I  found  Kassim  a  warm  friend  and  a  powerful  j^ro- 
tector,  and  I  am  convinced  that  but  for  him  my 
bones  would  be  to-day  bleaching  in  the  sands  of 
the  desert  or  moldering  in  some  jungle  of  Central 

Shortly  after  my  departure  from  Cairo  he  was 
seized  with  an  apoplectic  fit,  and  died  after  a  few 
hours,  without  recovering  consciousness.  Moham- 
medan as  he  was,  there  beat  a  kind  and  loyal  heart 
in  his  bosom,  and  in  the  "great  day"  of  final 
judgment,  it  seems  to  me,  he  will  have  as  good 
a  show  for  favor  and  forgiveness  as  some  of  the  so- 
called  saints  in  the  calendar.   ^^Bequiescatin  j^cwe.'^ 




My  Dear  Doctor  : 

Among  those  who  subsequently  fell  into  my 
hands  as  patients  was  the  aforesaid  assistant  min- 
ister of  war,  who  was  so  near  death's  door  from  the 
treatment  which  he  had  received  from  his  doctors 
that  I  undertook  his  case  with  many  apprehensions 
for  the  result,  and  only  on  condition  that  none  of 
the  ''consultants"  should  visit  him  again.  I  am 
pleased  to  be  able  to  state  that  after  a  long  struggle 
he  "  pulled  through,"  and  manifested  his  gratitude 
by  a  handsome  present  in  Egyptian  pounds. 

I  was  also  called  to  a  pasha — one  of  the  wealthiest 
and  best-connected  in  Egypt — who  had  been  for  a 
long  time  insane.  As  he  was  suffering  from  gen- 
eral paralysis  there  was  nothing  to  be  done  for 
him,  but  his  case  proved  very  interesting,  as  I 
learned  from  it  the  peculiar  ideas  of  the  people  of 
that  country  in  regard  to  persons  of  deficient  or 
defective  intellect.  The  popular  belief  is  that  an 
idiotic  or  an  insane  man  is  the  special  favorite  of 
God,  and  that  his  soul  had  been  translated  to 
heaven  and  his  body  left  behind  for  the  special 
care  and  veneration  of  his  friends  and  family.  He 
is,  therefore,  overwhelmed  with  kindnesses,  and, 
in  fact,  he  is  worshiped  as  a  saint  by  all  around 
him.  The  strangest  part  of  the  superstition  in  re- 
gard to  these  poor  unfortunates  is,  that  relations 
with  them  are  regarded    as  an  infallible  cure  for 

454  A  doctor's  experiences 

barrenness  in  women,  and  that  they  are  ipso  facto 
hallowed  in  the  sight  of  men  and  heaven.  It  is 
not  believed  that  conception  is  the  result  of  such 
an  embrace,  bat  that  the  physical  condition  which 
interferes  with  the  husband's  aspirations  is  re- 
moved by  it,  and  the  way  prepared  for  legitimate 
impregnation.  When  it  is  born  in  mind  that  the 
state  of  pregnancy  is  esteemed  one  of  special  honor 
and  privilege — that  no  wife  can  be  divorced  during 
its  existence,  and  no  slave  can  be  sold  who  has 
given  birth  to  a  child — it  is  easy  to  understand  the 
estimation  in  which  a  lunatic*  is  held  in  that 

Many  a  lazy  and  impecunious  wretch  among  the 
lower  classes  takes  advantage  of  this  superstition  to 
affect  insanity  and  to  assume  the  saintly  role^  so 
that  he  may  be  clothed,  fed  and  tenderly  nursed 
by  the  women  of  his  neighborhood  for  the  remain- 
der of  his  days.  Indeed,  lunacy  is  about  as  "short 
a  road  ' '  to  ease  and  independence  as  can  be  con- 
ceived of,  and  it  is  not  surprising  that  it  should  be 
followed  as  a  vocation  under  the  circumstances. 

I  had  quite  an  amusing  adventure  with  Amein 
Pasha,  who  was  minister  of  war  under  Abbas 
Pasha, t  and  one  of  the  principal  instruments  of  his 
cruelty  and  oppression.  He  lived  in  a  magnificent 
palace,  on  the  island  of  Khoda,  and,  though  he  had 
been  blind  for  twenty  years,  he  sent  for  me  and 
ordered  me  to  cure  him.  I  told  him  frankly  that 
I  could  not  relieve  him,  but  he  insisted  on  treat- 
ment, and  I  was  compelled  to  gratify  his  wishes, 
and  to  do  something  for  his  eyes,  though  both  pu- 
pils and  retina3  were  absolutely  insensible  to  light. 
While  treating  him,  his  youngest  daughter,  a  beau- 
tiful girl  of    sixteen,  was  attacked  with    typhoid 

*See  Appendix  (P).  f^^^ee  Appendix  (Q). 


fever,  and  as  he  loved  lier  dearly  and  regarded 
me  as  inspired — the  embodiment  of  Kismet"^ — he 
placed  her  under  my  professional  charge.  She 
fortunately  recovered  after  several  weeks  of  severe 
illness,  and  though  I  did  not  restore  his  sight,  I 
necessarily  had  a  large  medical  bill  against  him. 
When  the  first  of  the  year  arrived,  I  sent  him  his 
bill,  with  a  polite  note  calling  his  attention  to  it, 
and  requesting  its  payment.  To  my  astonishment, 
his  luakeel  appeared  at  my  house  on  the  next  day, 
the  bearer  of  an  indignant  protest  from  his  master 
against  being  '^  dunned  as  a  fellah,"  and  the  state- 
ment that  my  charge  was  excessive^  as  he  could 
prove  by  every  slave  on  the  premises  that  I  had 
not  paid  more  than  half  a  dozen  visits  during  the 
year.  I  was  in  a  state  of  utter  perplexity,  and 
seeking  James  Sanua,  my  Arabic  teacher,  I  stated 
the  matter  to  him  and  requested  an  explanation. 
He  informed  me  that  I  had  committed  a  great 
breach  of  etiquette  in  sending  a  bill  to  a  pasha,  as 
it  was  not  the  custom  of  the  country  to  do  so,  and 
that  every  man  of  position  considered  it  his  privi- 
lege to  resist  anything  like  a  '^ claim"  against  him. 
I  therefore  had  a  polite  note  written  to  his  excel- 
lency, expressing  great  regret  at  the  mistake  which 
had  been  made  in  sending  a  bill  '^to  so  distin- 
guished a  person,"  and  assuring  him  that  he  owed 
me  nothing,  but  that  I  considered  it  a  great  honor 
to  prescribe  for  him  and  his  family.  Some  weeks 
afterward  his  ivakeel  paid  another  visit  to  my 
house,  bringing  with  him  a  larger  sum  than  I  had 
originally  demanded,  which  he  begged  me  to  ac- 
cept as  a  cadeau  from  his  master,  "  who  was  very 
grateful   for  my  kind    attentions  to    him  and    his 

See  Appendix  (R). 

456  A  doctor's  experiexces 

daughter — whose  life  he  believed  T  had  saved,  hy 
the  heli^  of  Allah." 

I  remembered  this  lesson,  and  never  again  sent 
a  medical  bill  to  a  pasha,  and  though  in  one  in- 
stance the  only  recompense  that  I  received  for 
several  weeks'  attendance  was  a  dried  beef  tongue, 
I  was,  as  a  general  rule,  liberally  rewarded  for  my 
professional  services. 

I  was  sitting  alone  in  my  office,  dreadfully  de- 
pressed in  spirits  because  of  the  death  of  our  baby, 
and  only  partially  recovered  from  the  attack  of 
ophthalmia,  when  a  courier  entered,  and  informed 
me  that  Houssein  Pasha,  the  minister  of  war,  de- 
sired to  see  me  at  the  earliest  possible  moment. 
Ordering  my  carriage,  and  tying  a  handkerchief 
over  my  suffering  eyes,  I  hurried  to  the  Citadel 
and  presented  myself  to  the  prime  minister.  He 
received  me  with  great  kindness,  commiserated 
with  me  on  the  loss  of  my  child  and  the  pain 
which  I  had  suffered,  and  informed  me  that  he  had 
something  to  communicate  which  would  ''  gladden 
my  heart,"  and  make  me  '^forget  my  sorrows." 
I  thanked  him  warmly,  and  inquired  what  it  was 
that  he  had  to  communicate.  He  said  that  he  and 
his  father  had  had  their  eyes  on  me  ever  since  I 
saved  the  life  of  Kassim  Pasha,  and  seeing  that  I 
was  faithful  in  the  performance  of  my  duty,  they 
had  determined  to  promote  me  to  the  position  of 
Hakim  Bashi  Gahadeih,  or,  in  other  words,  to 
make  me  the  chief  surgeon  of  the  department  of 
loar.  My  heart  gave  one  great  bound,  and  the 
tears  came  unbidden  into  my  eyes,  for  the  position 
was  the  highest  that  a  medical  man  could  attain  in 
Egypt,  and  my  elevation  to  it  was  the  greatest 
compliment  that  his  highness  could  pay  to  any 
one.  With  a  bosom  overflowing  with  gratified 
pride  and   a   sense   of  supreme   obligation,    I   ac- 


cepted  the  promotion,  and  assured  him  tha't,  if 
L3ya,lty  to  him  and  to  the  Khedive,  and  devotiaoto- 
the  duties  of  the  office,  could  constitute  a  recom- 
pense for  the  kind  consideration  which  had  sug- 
gested my  selection,  there  should  be  no  default  of 
payment  upon  my  part. 

He  then  went  on  to  say  that  venality  had  beert 
the  curse  of  Egypt,  and  that  it  had  specially  per- 
vaded the  medical  staff  of  the  army,  prompting  to> 
the  rejection  of  the  healthiest  recruits  ;  to  the  fur- 
loughing  or  discharge  of  the  most  vigorous  sol- 
diers, and  to  the  retention  upon  the  muster  rolls  oF 
many  who  were  physically  incapable  of  performing- 
military  duty.  He  informed  me,  likewise,  that  it 
was  the  Khedive's  purpose  to  add  about  twent3r 
thousand  picked  men  to  the  army  ;*  that  he  de- 
sired me  to  examine  personally  every  recruit, 
rejected  by  the  native  surgeons,  and  he  shouldl 
order  before  me  every  soldier  who  had  been  fur- 
loughed  or  discharged  within  two  years,  and  all 
who  had  served  for  more  than  fifteen  years,  in 
order  that  I  might  restore  to  the  army  sudi  as. 
were  in  physical  condition  to  perform  duty,  or  dis- 
charge from  it  the  really  infirm  and  incompetent. 
'^All  I  ask  of  you,"  he  added,  ''is  to  do  this  duty 
with  the  same  honesty  and  fidelity  as  have  charac- 
terized your  conduct  in  all  other  regards  since  yc^ur 
arrival  in  Egypt." 

I  obeyed  his  instructions  to  the  letter,  subjecting- 
every  rejected  recruit,  furloughed  or  discharged 
soldier  and  dilapidated  veteran  to  the  most  search- 
ing examination — with  the  result  of  exposing 
many  a  case  of  "bribery  and  corruption,"  and  of 
materially  increasing  the  efficiency  of  the  army^ 
The  cunning  emjoloyed   by  those  who   sought  to 

See  Appendix  (S). 


€va(le  the  service  surpassed  anything  that  I  had 
ever  conceived  of,  and  it  was  only  by  the  most  critical 
investigation,  and  liberal  use  of  chloroform  as  an 
angesthetic,  that  I  was  enabled  to  distinguish  be- 
tween cases  of  malingering  and  of  genuine  disease. 
It  was  not  an  uncommon  thing,  also,  for  them  to 
sacrifice  an  eye  or  a  finger,  in  the  vain  hope  of 
securing  exemption,  although,  since  the  days  of 
Mehemet  Ali — who  formed  regiments  of  one-eyed 
and  four-fingered  men — such  mutilations  are  not 
regarded  in  Egypt  as  constituting  veritable  disa- 
bilities, while  they  never  fail  to  invite  severe  pun- 

The  veterans  excited  my  most  profound  pity. 
When  too  old  or  infirm  to  bear  arms,  and  not  rich 
enough  to  purchase  discharges,  it  had  been  the 
custom  to  consign  them  to  the  quarries  and  to  treat 
them  as  criminals  for  the  rest  of  their  days.  Could 
you  have  seen  them  when  they  were  first  brought 
before  me,  with  their  unkept  and  matted  beards, 
their  bent  and  emaciated  frames,  their  sightless  or 
still  inflamed  eyes  and  their  torn  and  dirty  cloth- 
ing— the  ver}^  illustration  of  prolonged  suff'ering 
■and  of  utter  despair — your  heart  would  have  bled 
for  them  as  mine  did.  And  then  could  you  have 
witnessed  the  change  which  came  over  them,  when, 
from  the  lips  of  the  dreaded  and  hated  Christian  there 
came  the  words :  ^'  Let  these  men  be  discharged  and 
sent  to  their  homes,"  you  would  have  esteemed  it  a 
privilege  to  be  Hakim  Bashi  Gahadeih,  and  the 
representative  of  all  the  power  and  absolutism  of 
the  great  Khedive. 

I  felt  that  I  was  at  once  doing  God's  service  and 
strengthening  the  hands  of  the  government  when 
I  discharged  these  men  from  the  army,  and  I  did 
it  with  so  liberal  a  hand  that  the  work  in  the  quar- 
ries was  actually  suspended  until  a  supply  of  veri- 


table  convicts  could  be  had  to  take  the  places  of 
these  old  soldiers,  many  of  whom  were  covered 
with  the  wounds  which  they  had  received  in  carry- 
ing the  standard  of  Mehemet  Ali  to  the  gates  of 

Their  Hamdallahs  still  ring  pleasantly  in  my 
ears,  and  if  it  should  ever  be  my  fortune  to  find  a 
place  in  the  better  land,  I  shall  believe  that  the 
prayers  of  these  stricken  and  forsaken  0I4  men 
helped  to  purchase  it  for  me.  Nothing  that  I  have 
6ver  done  in  life  has  afforded  me  more  satisfaction , 
more  real  and  enduring  pleasure,  than  the  libera- 
tion of  these  despairing  veterans  from  the  life  of 
wretchedness  to  which  their  age,  their  infirmities 
and  their  poverty  had  consigned  them. 

Before  those  days  there  were  but  two  avenues  of 
escape  for  the  unfortunate  wretch  whose  evil  genius 
had  recorded  his  name  upon  the  muster-roll  of  the 
Egyptian  army,  viz:  through  the  golden  gate  and 
through  the  portals  of  the  tomb,  by  the  purchase 
of  his  discharge  or  the  '^handing  in  of  his  chips,"  in 
mining  camp  phraseology. 

Many  indirect  attempts  were  rnade  to  bribe  me  * 
and  finally  two  ofiicers  under  orders  for  the  Sou- 
dan came  into  my  ofiice  and  proposed  to  pay  me 
£100  each  for  a  certificate  of  disability.  I  pre- 
tended not  to  understand  their  propositions,  and 
instructed  Achmed  to  engage  them  in  conversation 
while  I  hurried  to  the  prime  minister  to  inform  him 
of  what  had  occurred.  He  ordered  their  immediate 
arrest,  but  when  I  returned  with  the  guard  to  seize 
them  they  had  disappeared  and  could  not  be  found. 

After  the  lapse  of  a  few  weeks  the  prime  minis- 
ter informed  me  that  he  was  in  trouble  ;  that  rely- 
ing upon  the  data  which  I  had  furnished,   he    had 

See  Appendix  (T). 


caused  the  arrest  of  an  officer  en  route  to  Khartoum 
for  ''offering  a  bribe  to  the  chief  surgeon  of  the 
war  department,"  but  that  the  supposed  culprit 
had  protested  his  innocence,  and  had  appealed  to 
the  Khedive  for  protection,  making  out  so  strong  a 
case  of  alibi  as  to  convince  his  highness  that  an  in- 
nocent man  had  been  confounded  with  a  guilty 
one.  I  relieved  him  somewhat  by  again  describing 
the  offender,  offering  to  take  the  entire  burden  of 
responsibility  upon  my  shoulders,  and  assuring  him 
that  both  my  dragoman  and  I  C(mld  identify  the 
real  offender  at  a  glance. 

With  great  difficulty  he  induced  his  father  ta 
withhold  the  order  for  the  officer's  release,  and  ta 
issue  another  commanding  him  to  be  brought  to 
Cairo  and  confronted  with  me.  The  prince  was  in 
a  state  of  chronic  anxiety  until  the  arrival  of  the 
individual  in  question,  but  he  acted  with  great 
fairness  toward  the  accused,  by  placing  him  in  the 
midst  of  a  group  of  officers,  and  calling  upon  me 
to  indicate  the  guilty  party,  without  furnishing  the 
slightest  guide  to  his  identification. 

Neither  Achmed  nor  I  had  the  least  difficulty  in 
pointing  out  the  real  offender,  and,  notwithstand- 
ing his  oaths,  protestations  and  pretended  proofs 
of  an  alibi,  he  was  adjudged  guilty  by  the  Khedive, 
and  punished  according  to  his  deserts,  i.  e.,  was- 
reduced  to  the  ranks  and  sent  to  the  Soudan. 

Shortly  after  this  incident,  and  just  when  I  con- 
sidered myself  most  firmly  established  in  my  place, 
an  event  occurred  which  showed  the  uncertainty 
of  things  in  Cairo,  and  demonstrated  that  I  had 
both  bitter  enemies  and  strong  friends  at  court. 
One  night  at  a  late  hour  there  was  a  ring  at  my 
bell,  and  as  the  servants  had  retired  I  answered  it 
in  person.  To  my  astonishment,  I  found  a  high 
official  at  the  door,  from  whose  excited   manner   I 


nt  once  augured  evil  tidings,  and  when  lie  invited 
me  to  drive  on  the  Shoubra  road  as  he  had  ^'  an  im- 
portant communication  to  make,"  I  felt  that  a 
crisis  in  my  fate  had  -arrived.  I  joined  him  at  once, 
and  so  soon  as  we  were  fairly  in  the  country,  he 
said  to  me:  "  I  have  something  to  tell  you  which  I 
was  afraid  to  utter  '^  within  walls."  I  am  just 
from  the  palace,  where  I  have  learned  that  an  or- 
der will  be  issued  to-morrow  assigning  you  to  the 
expedition  about  to  start  for  Darfour,  and  I  have 
come  to  inform  you  of  it,  in  order  that  you  may 
■escape  the  service  if  possible." 

''To  Darfour?  Can  it  be  possible?  I  entered 
the  service  with  a  distinct  understanding  that  I 
should  reside  in  Cairo.  I  care  not  so  much  for  the 
risk  to  myself  as  for  the  separation  from  my  family. 
What  has  the  prince  minister  to  say  on  the  sub- 

>'?"  .       .       .      . 

•'  The  order  will  certainly  be  issued  in  the  morn- 
ins".  I  had  it  from  the  Khedive  himself.  The 
histor}^  of  the  matter  is  about  this  :  His  highness 
having  been  induced  to  believe  that  Darfour  is  rich 
in  minerals,  has  for  some  time  been  anxious  to  send 
a  competent  man  there  to  investigate  them.  Your 
name  was  saggestecl  to  him  a  few  weeks  since,  but 
the  prince  minister  having  opposed  it  warmly  upon 
the  ground  of  the  value  of  your  services  p.s  chief 
surgeon  of  his  department,  the  plan  was  abandoned. 
8ince  then  he  has  been  induced  to  reconsider  the 
matter  by  the  representation  that  you  alone  can  be 
trusted  with  the  task  ;  that  your  assistant  can 
carr}^  on  the  work  of  your  office  until  your  return, 
and  that  you  can  complete  the  examination  and 
return  within  six  months  without  detriment  to 
3'ourself,  and,  regardless  of  the  protest  of  the  min- 
ister of  war,  he  has  finally  concluded  to  send  you. 
I  assure  you,  my  friend,  that  it  is  a  settled  fact — 

462  A  doctor's  experiences 

the  order  will  assuredly  be  issued  to-morrow,  and 
you  must  be  prepared  to  meet  it.  I  only  wish  the 
Khedive  thoroughly  understood  the  situation  and 
thought  less  of  you  and  more  of  some  one  else — 
some  younger  man  better  able  to  stand  a  journey 
to  that  pestilential  region,  which  he  has  been  made 
to  believe  is  a  second  California/' 

1  took  in  the  whole  situation  at  a  glance.  I  saw 
that  some  craftv  enemy  had  availed  himself  of  the 
Khedive's  confidence  in  me  to  induce  him  to  re- 
quire a  service  which  must  either  be  accepted  at 
the  hazard  of  my  life  or  declined  with  the  cer« 
tainty  of  being  dismissed  from  the  army.  In  a 
word,  I  realized  that  I  had  to  meet  one  of  the  most 
serious  questions  of  my  life — to  baiile  an  intrigue 
which  had  been  elaborated  with  consummate  skill 
for  the  purpose  of  forcing  me  to  decide  between  the 
alternatives  of  going  to  my  death  in  Darfour  or  of 
returning  in  disgrace  to  America. 

"The  case  is  a  desperate  one  and  demands  des- 
perate measures,"  I  remarked.      "  This  separation 
from  my  wife  and  family — this  leaving  them   in 
Egypt  unprotected  and  friendless — will  kill  me  of 
itself.     What  would  you  advise,  doctor?" 

"  Yes,  it  is  a  serious  matter,"  he  answered,  ''for, 
in  my  judgment,  you  will  never  return  from  Dar- 
four— you  will  never  see  your  wife  and  children 
again.  At  your  age,  and  with  your  susceptibility 
to  malaria — which  the  Khedive  knows  nothing 
about,  unfortunately — you  will  die  on  the  journey. 
If  I  were  in  your  place  I  would  resign  to-night 
through  the  American  consul  and  place  myself 
under  his  protection  to-morrow." 

'^Alas,  my  friend,  you  know  nothing  about  Amer- 
ican politics.  Nine-tenths  of  those  who  are  now  in 
office  were  appointed  when  sectional  hatred  was  at  a 
premium,  and  they  have  not  yet  learned  to  regard  a 


quondam  rebel  as  an  American  citizen.  The  consul ^ 
though  a  very  amiable  man,  is  a  strong  partisan, 
and  he  would  no  more  join  issue  with  the  Khedive 
on  my  account  than  he  would  throw  himself  into 
the  Nile.     There  is  no  hope  from  that  direction." 

'^Then  really,  my  dear  doctor,  I  do  not  know  what 
to  suggest.  I  have  done  all  in  my  power  to  serve 
you.  I  have  warned  you  at  the  hazard  of  my 
position  and  perhaps  of  my  life.  Go  home  and 
consult  with  your  wife,  and  it  may  be  that  you  and 
she  together  can  think  out  some  plan  which  will 
enable  you  to  escape  the  dangers  of  the  coming 

^'  Good  night,  my  kind  friend.  We  are  not  far 
from  my  house  and  I  will  get  out  and  walk  home  so 
as  to  avoid  observation.  Be  assured  that  you  leave 
me  with  a  heavy  heart,  but  one  filled  with  gratis 
tude  to  you  for  what  you  have  done  and  risked  in 
my  behalf.  I  will  devote  the  remainder  of  the 
night  to  reflection,  and  with  God's  help  I  hope  to 
find  a  way  out  of  the  difficulties  and  dangers 
which  surround  me.  May  heaven  remember  you 
for  your  kindness  to  me  and  to  mine." 

Neither  my  wife  nor  I  slept  that  night,  but  we 
spent  its  long  and  lonely  hours  in  consulting  on 
the  situation,  and  in  devising  a  method  for  my  es- 
cape. Before  the  morning  dawned  we  had  elabor- 
ated a  plan  by  which  we  hoped  to  thwart  the  ma- 
chinations of  those  who  had  plotted  for  my  destruc- 
tion, and  were  rejoicing  over  the  blow  which  was 
to  fall  without  warning,  as  they  supposed,  on  my 
devoted  head,  when  the  war  office  opened  that 

Before  the  sun  rose  I  sent  the  ever-faithful 
William,  with  my  carriage,  to  the  house  of  Doctor 
Kassim  Effendi — the  second  medical  officer  of  the 
war  department — praying  him   to  come   instantly 


to  my  lioase  ;  and  on  his  arrival  I  begged  liim  to 
examine  and  to  prescribe  for  my  eye,  which  was 
much  inflamed  and  very  painful.  Flattered  im- 
measurably by  this  mark  of  confidence  on  the  part 
of  his  chief,  he  complied  with  my  request  in  the 
OQiost  elaborate  manner,  recommending  among 
•other  measures  that  I  should  remain  in  bed  and  in 
a  darkened  room  for  some  time  to  come.  ^' Since 
you  condemn  me  to  remain  in  bed,  Doctor,  and 
thus  render  it  impossible  for  me  to  attend  to  my 
office,  I  must  ask  you  to  take  charge  of  it  until  I 
a,m  convalescent,"  I  remarked  in  the  most  friendly 

"  Certainly,  excellence,  I  will  take  great  pleas- 
ure in  representing  you,  and  you  may  rest  assured 
that  everything  shall  be  conducted  as  you  desire," 
-was  his  flattered  response. 

'^  Well,  that  being  settled  to  my  satisfaction,  I 
must  ask  another  favor  of  you,"  said  I.  "It  is  my 
I'ule  always  to  be  in  my  office  when  the  Prince  ar- 
xives,  and  official  business  begins.  It  is  important 
that  you  shall  be  equally  punctual,  and  in  order  that 
you  may  be  there  in  time  and  altogether  en  regie, 
I  must  ask  you  to  place  my  name  on  the  "  sick  re- 
port "  and  to  hand  it  in  before  the  minister  arrives, 
so  that  it  may  be  the  first  official  paper  acted  on 
to-da,y.  William  and  my  carriage  are  at  your  dis- 
posal so  that  there  may  be  no  possibility  of  delay 
in  this  matter,  as  promptitude  is  as  important  to 
you  as  to  me." 

^' You  may  count  on  me,  excellence.  The  pre- 
sentation of  the  '  sick  report '  shall  be  the  first 
thing  done  at  the  Citadel  to-day,  and  I  will  be  in 
your  office,  and  at  work,  when  the  Prince  arrives," 
he  answered  with  enthusiasm,  as  he  started  off  on 
the  mission,  never  dreaming  that  an  order  was  in 
existence  which  only  required  the  signature  of  the 


minister  to  make  him  the  master  of  the  office  for 
six  months  to  come,  and,  perhaps,  for  the  remainder 
of  his  days.  He  kept  his  promise,  and  I  was  re- 
ported as  being  "  sick  with  ophthalmia  and  incapa- 
t)le  of  performing  military  duty  "  before  the  order 
sending  me  to  Darfour  had  been  signed  and  issued. 

The  "sick  report"  is  respected  in  the  service  of 
every  civilized  nation — including  Egypt — and  once 
enrolled  upon  i